Bay FC

Fresh off the announcement of one major international signing, Bay FC keep the marquee intercontinental signings coming. One of the National Women's Soccer Leagues two new expansions teams is keeping busy, acquiring the rights to Nigerian international Asisat Oshoala through a transfer with FC Barcelona Femení of Liga F in Spain in exchange for a transfer fee, the club announced on Thursday.

Oshoala has officially signed a contract through the 2026 season with an option for 2027 and will be added to the roster pending the official completion of her paperwork. She has appeared in three FIFA Women's World Cups (2015, 2019, 2023) with Nigeria, helping the team advance to the Round of 16 in both the 2019 and 2023 tournaments.

The 29-year-old forward has played for clubs all over the globe, from Nigeria to China and Europe. Now the six-time African Women's Footballer of the Year is bringing her talents to the United States with the newest NWSL expansion franchise. 

"I know it's a big change. I understand the challenge that I have ahead of me and I know that everything is possible as well. It's just about the mindset. You know, it's what we can build together as a team," Oshoala told CBS Sports on playing with a new team in America.

"So, it's the first year, I look forward to having a good year with the team. Go for everything. Because the most simple one of the goals when you go into a competition is -- you want to win it. That's what you need to have in mind. That mentality to go on the pitch and fight for everything."

For more from Oshoala make sure to check her out on Attacking Third as she talks about her move to the NWSL.

Want more coverage of women's soccer? Listen below and make sure to watch Attacking Third on Golazo Network Monday and Friday for all your USWNT, NWSL and WSL women's soccer coverage.

Bay FC build their inaugural roster

The expansion side is taking a methodical approach to building out their team phhase by phase, with offseason free agency, an expansion draft, and then the 2024 NWSL Draft. With the preseason now in full swing, the team has another key piece to their roster puzzle.

"To have the opportunity to add a player of Asisat's quality, experience, and winning pedigree to our roster is an exciting and important day for the club and the NWSL," said Bay FC General Manager Lucy Rushton said in a club statement. 

"She brings a top-class mentality to the field combined with pace and technical ability that allows her to lead the line, while also giving those players around her the license to be creative and thrive in space. Asisat is a proven goal scorer at the most elite levels of World football, and she comes here to continue that with Bay FC."

She began her career in Nigeria with Rivers Angels FC winning the 2014 Nigerian Women's Championship then left to England's Women's Super League as a two-time Nigerian Women's Cup winner. She split time between Liverpool and Arsenal, winning the 2016 FA Cup with Arsenal before signing with Chinese club Dalian in 2017. After winning two league titles in China, she shifted her career to Spain with FC Barcelona Femeni in 2019.

Barcelona to the Bay

Already an accomplished player, winning titles in every country she has played in, Oshoala's profile rose during her time in Spain.

While at Barcelona she scored 107 goals over 149 appearances, while setting a league record in 2022 as joint top scorer with 19 goals. She departs Barcelona with four league titles, three Spanish Super Cups and three Copa de la Reina titles. She won two UEFA Women's Champions League titles (2020-21, 2022-23) and became the first African woman to score in the Champions League final in 2019 and the first African woman to win the UWCL final in 2021.

Despite all the accolades, she's aware that the NWSL is going to be a different type of challenge and is still trying to get quickly acclimated with the team as they're in the preseason. She's already looking ahead to playing in the regular season and the different California team rivalries.

"I was saying to the girls yesterday, that I love their big games. You know, I love playing against the same teams from the same city," Oshoala said. 

"You know, it's always more fun, and interesting. You have people in the city, having a feel of what women's soccer game looks like. Playing against each other, rivalry games like that, and I love it. Now we have in California, we've got like three teams now, that's gonna be pretty interesting for me. I'm looking forward to derby games."

What's next

Bay FC is fully in preseason mode and will participate in the upcoming 2024 Coachella Valley Invitational hosted by AEG. The preseason matches at CVI will also feature San Diego Wave, Angel City FC, and Portland Thorns FC and will take place in Indio, California at the Empire Polo Club from Feb. 20-24.

The expansion side will kick off the regular season on the road in Los Angeles against Angel City on March 16.