Gothia Cup

Head coach Mimi Nartey returns to Gothia Cup

Her daughter Liya Nartey is following her footsteps.

Mimi Nartey participated as a football player at Gothia Cup 26 years ago. Now she’s back as head coach of LA United, and her team is here to win.
- It’s a joy to pay it forward to future generations of female soccer players, says Mimi.

During her years in the soccer world, Mimi Nartey has accomplished a lot. She played in the Gothia Cup tournament back in 1996 and covered the front page of local newspaper Göteborgs-Posten during the opening ceremonies. Now she’s back at Gothia Cup – this time as head coach of LA United.
- It’s my experience at Gothia Cup that launched my professional soccer career. After Gothia Cup I went on to represent Ghana in the World Cup. I played in the W League in America, which is the preliminary league for the women’s national soccer league that we have now, says Mimi.

Mimi’s Gothia Cup week isn’t just special because she played in it herself. Her daughter, Liya Nartey, is the captain of LA United.
- It’s an amazing experience to have come full circle. She looks exactly like I did then, so history is repeating itself in the best way. You never know what your kids are going to grow up doing, but to see my daughter follow in my footsteps with excitement feels great.

Gothia Cup is, therefore, a special experience for both Mimi and Liya. Their goal during the week is, of course, to win. And they’ve worked hard to get to where they are today.
- I think any serious soccer player is always here to win. Ultimately, we’re playing the long game. Many teams in the US have sourced players from all over to create a team for the tournament. Our team is a team that’s been together for several years, so we’ve been developing them over time, says Mimi.

No matter the outcome of the match, LA United stays positive. Flying in from California has left them with some jetlag, but Mimi is confident the girls know what they’re doing.
- We’re going to find our legs and continue to grow from the experience. We have a good style of soccer; we’re very physical. I think that’s evident.

Evidently, Gothia Cup means a lot to Mimi. But the tournament is also a meaningful experience for the girls on the team.
- Even if my daughter wasn’t here I would bring the team to Gothenburg, because soccer is my passion. I made a promise to one of the girls five years ago; I said that if we stick together, we’ll come to Gothia Cup. And we did.