Nigeria forward Oshoala joins Bay FC on transfer from Barcelona
National Women's Soccer League expansion team Bay FC has acquired Nigeria forward Asisat Oshoala from Barcelona.
Oshoala is one of the top players in the history of Nigeria’s national team. She is the first Nigerian to score in three Women’s World Cups.
Known for her bright hair colors, Oshoala joined Barcelona in 2019 and has since scored 107 goals in 149 games. She has made 14 appearances, including three starts, with Barcelona this season, scoring eight goals.
Oshoala was left off the roster for Barcelona's 6-0 victory over Real Betis on Sunday in Spain's top women's league because of personal reasons.
“I just feel like I want something different. If you follow my career for a long time, you realize that I get easily bored," Oshoala said in an interview with The Associated Press. “I don’t really stay long in any place. I stay two, three years and I want to try something else. I’ve played on a couple of continents and I feel like I want to play elsewhere.”
Oshoala grabbed attention at last year's World Cup when she scored the deciding goal as a substitute in Nigeria's 3-2 victory over host Australia in the group stage. In the round of 16, Nigeria was eliminated on penalties after a 0-0 draw with England.
“She’s such a force physically,” Nigeria coach Randy Waldrum said of Oshoala at the time. “She can create problems — the third goal was massive. When we talked about her role — she’s like any player, she wants to be on all the time — I said, ‘I just have a feeling, come on for the last 30 minutes and make a difference.’”
More recently, Oshoala was named to the Nigeria squad that qualified for the 2024 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco.
Oshoala has won the African Player of the Year award six times. In 2022, she became the first African woman to be nominated for the Ballon d'Or award.
In addition to Barcelona, Oshoala has played professionally for Arsenal, Liverpool and Chinese club Dailan. She helped Barcelona win a pair of Champions League titles.
With Bay FC, Oshoala said she wants to win trophies.
“One thing about me, I’m not going to ask my teammates for what I’m not giving," she said. “So when I say I’m not going to ask my teammate for what I’m not giving, I’m not going to ask you to run when I’m not running. So I’m going to work and work for the team. This is what I bring. I bring the energy there.”
She must obtain her visa and international transfer before she can join Bay FC, based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Oshoala was signed through 2026, with an option for 2027.
Bay FC is the NWSL's 14th team. They open the season on March 16 with a match against Angel City in Los Angeles.
AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer