Gotham FC signs Germany goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger from Chelsea

HARRISON, N.J. — Defending champion NJ/NY Gotham FC has signed Germany international goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger from Chelsea in exchange for an undisclosed transfer fee.

Gotham announced the deal on Friday, noting Berger has signed a one-year contract through 2024, with an option for the 2025 National Women’s Soccer League season.

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“Ann is a very strong and experienced goalkeeper, who is a true professional. She brings international experience and has performed really well consistently at the highest level,” Gotham coach Juan Carlos Amoros said in a team release.

Berger has played with Chelsea of the Women’s Super League since 2019, helping the club secure the WSL title for four straight seasons from 2019-23. She was a part of the German squad that competed in the 2023 Women’s World Cup.

“An amazing servant, I’ll always say, I’ve never seen a goalkeeper save penalties like Ann, the best in the world,” Chelsea boss Emma Hayes, who will take over as U.S. women’s national team coach at the end of the season, said in a news conference Friday.

“Some of the difficulties she’s had to endure and go through, her own personal health … She has legendary status at Chelsea. But this is football. She wants to play, she wants to go to the Olympics and I admire that about players, and I know she’ll go with our blessing and we wish her the best of luck.”

Before Chelsea, Berger played for Birmingham from 2016-19. In 2017, she was named the WSL 1 Players’ Player of the Year, alongside Manchester City’s Jill Scott, after returning from thyroid cancer. The goalkeeper closed out the season by being named to the Professional Footballer’s Association Women’s Team of the Year. Berger also spent time with Paris Saint-Germain from 2014-16.

Berger began her professional career in Germany at Sindelfingen before making a move to Turbine Potsdam.

“I am incredibly excited to join Gotham FC for this season,” said Berger. “The NWSL is one of the top leagues in the world right now, and I am very excited to compete and be a part of this league.”

Gotham released goalkeeper Erin McKinney.

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.