Days after Midge Purce won her first NWSL title, Boardroom spoke to her about being named MVP, playing alongside Ali Krieger, and how she plans to spend her offseason.
“I was in disbelief but had all the belief at the same time.”
Days after Midge Purce won her first NWSL championship, the NJ/NY Gotham FC forward is still basking in the glory. Both of Gotham’s goals in its 2-1 title win over OL Reign came off Purce’s assists, the first to Lynn Williams and the second to FIFA Women’s World Cup champion Esther González. Her performance was enough for the 28-year-old to take home another coveted piece of hardware: Championship MVP.
“I wasn’t even thinking about the MVP award to be quite honest,” Purce told Boardroom. “I was so satisfied with winning and celebrating with my team that it was a beautifully surprising moment. And it was extremely humbling because this team is just so special. And they’ve all helped me come back this year. I’ve had some injuries and some low points in the season, so it was just really a beautiful moment.”
Purce missed most of the 2023 season with a torn quad, making her return to the pitch in June after 10 weeks of rehabilitation. Because she took significant time away, Purce missed out on joining the USWNT in Australia and New Zealand this summer at the World Cup. She’s now hoping her time will come in 2027.
In the meantime, Purce is spending her offseason fully rehabilitating herself, abandoning the chillier temps of the northeast in favor of sunshine in Miami. A few other players across the league will join her, and Purce says they will “train together, get ready for the season, and also have some fun and enjoy the time off.”
Leaning on Her Mentors
The players who lifted the trophy at Snapdragon Stadium over the weekend all recognized the perseverance the team showed this season in pursuit of their first-ever NWSL title. There are a lot of factors that contributed to this fairytale ending, but Purce attributes a major reason for the club’s success to the restructuring, from personnel moves on the pitch to changes in the front office.
“We all knew we were not the same team from last year,” she said. “We have a completely new coaching staff, and we’ve reformed things within the club itself. And with that came a new attitude and new confidence. So we were all really bought in on this idea that we can go all the way and we committed to it the whole year.”
So, how is her relationship with manager Juan Carlos Amorós, who the NWSL also named Coach of the Year?
In her words: “Juan and I have had such a positive relationship, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the person that he is. He’s an incredible coach, an incredible person, and I really am honored to have played for him.”
One player Midge Purce is also lucky to call a friend is Ali Krieger, reminiscing on the memories she and the Gotham captain shared during her final season as a pro.
“Ali is someone who I trust and even though she’s given me fantastic advice, the biggest takeaway I have from her is how she leads by example,” Purce said. “I’ve watched her overcome so much and to end her career on such a high note, it’s a fairytale ending and she has earned it.”
You can also expect to see more development with the Black Women’s Player Collective, a non-profit Purce helped co-found with a mission of advancing opportunities for Black girls in sport and beyond. While she wouldn’t disclose what the next steps are for the organization, she promised the plans are “really exciting” and fans can expect the group to “expand their initiative” beyond what they’ve already accomplished.
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