CARY, N.C. (Dec. 1, 2022) – The North Carolina Courage have signed NWSL free agent defender Estelle Johnson to a two-year, guaranteed contract through the 2024 season. A ten-year veteran of the NWSL with over 10,000 minutes played, Johnson had most recently been with NJ/NY Gotham FC since 2019.
Johnson played and started in 15 matches for Gotham FC in 2022, logging nearly 1,300 minutes with 47 clearances, 16 blocks and 26 interceptions. She posted a 42.1% tackle success rate, won 49.3% of duels and 62% of aerial duels. An efficient passer, Johnson connected 538 of 654 total passes for an 82.3% success rate.
“It’s great to be able to add Estelle through free agency. What an impressive career she has had thus far. She is an important addition to our talented pool of defenders and will bring valuable NWSL and international experience, both on the field and in the locker room,” said Chief Soccer Officer Curt Johnson.
The 34-year-old has an extensive club career in the United States, beginning with the Philadelphia Independence of the WPS in 2011. Johnson was then selected in the first round, seventh overall, of the 2013 NWSL Supplemental Draft by the Western New York Flash, who would become the Courage in 2017. She spent two seasons with the Flash before a trade to the Washington Spirit ahead of the 2015 season. She would play for the Spirit through 2018 before being traded to then-Sky Blue FC.
In addition to an extensive club career, Johnson has been a member of the Cameroonian National Team since 2019. She played every minute of the Lionesses’ four matches in the 2019 FIFA World Cup to lead them to the knockout stages, where they fell to England in the Round of 16.
The signing of Johnson brings the current North Carolina Courage roster to 17 players and now includes current or former representatives of eight different national teams. The Courage roster currently features six defenders: Abby Erceg, Kaleigh Kurtz, Estelle Johnson, Carson Pickett, Kiki Pickett, and Merritt Mathias.
SEASON TICKETS ON SALE NOW: Reserve seats for the 2023 season before January 9, 2023 and get great early bird rates and incentives on top of the already-great perks of being a season-ticket holder. For more information or to purchase tickets, call (919) 459-8144 or visit www.nccourage.com/season-tickets.