Nealy Martin played her first two NWSL seasons with Racing Louisville FC. (Photo courtesy of Gotham FC)

NJ/NY Gotham FC has signed defender Nealy Martin to a contract for one year plus an option for the 2024 season, the National Women’s Soccer League team announced on Thursday.

The 24-year-old Martin joins Gotham FC after spending her first two seasons with Racing Louisville FC. Gotham FC picked up Martin’s rights from Louisville via the end-of-season waiver wire.

“I’m blessed and thrilled to be joining Gotham,” Martin said in a statement. “The vision of the club is extremely exciting and I cannot wait to take part in the process of seeing it come to fruition. The club is building something very special in order to compete as one of the top teams in the NWSL, and I cannot wait to get to work!”

Martin joined Racing Louisville FC in April 2021. The 5-7 Martin made 29 appearances – 21 as a starter, over two seasons.

From 2016-19, the Alabama native attended the University of Alabama, playing 76 matches and scoring five goals. She served as team captain in her junior and senior years. Over her four-season collegiate career, Martin was named Southeast Conference co-scholar athlete of the year, to the CoSIDA Academic All-American first team and to the SEC Community Service Team.

“Nealy is a talented young defender we’re excited to add to our roster,” Gotham FC general manager and head of soccer operations Yael Averbuch West said in a statement. “We look forward to Nealy joining the Gotham FC backline and continuing to develop in all facets of the game.”