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Gotham FC will host the Houston Dash at Red Bull Arena on Sunday, October 1st, 2023 at 6:30 PM ET. Gotham enters the match tied for second place but sitting in third place because of San Diego's +1 goal differential better than Gotham in the NWSL standings, while the Dash are in 10th place.
Gotham has been in excellent form of late, losing only one of their last five matches and on a 7 game undefeated streak at home. They are also one of the most dominant teams in the league statistically and suffocate teams as the highest pressing women's football club in the world. They are leading the NWSL in possessions won in the final third per match (9.3%), 2nd in average possession (54.1%), and 4th in shots on target (4.9 per game).
Houston is playing for their playoff lives. Also received the new coach bump, besting playoff contender Racing Louisville 1-0 last match. They are led by Attacker Maria Sanchez, who is Houston's leading goal contributor with 4 goals and 3 assists. Leading in both categories. Everything goes through Maria.
Even historical matchup 7-4-7 all time.
Matchup of the stingiest defenses. Houston ranked 1st in goals conceded and Gotham 2nd.
2nd (Houston) and 3rd (Gotham) in clean sheets
Also matchup of underperforming offences. Houston 12th and Gotham 8th in goals per match.
Going to be a fight. Gotham leads the league in yellow cards (34) and Houston leads in red cards (3)
Gotham last head to head win against Houston came way back in May of 2021
Maria Sanchez (Houston) vs Lynn Williams and Midge Purce (Gotham). Gotham faces a similar assignment to last week where they face a team with a superstar engine to their offense. Rodman was that engine and Gotham completely shut her down. I expect Gotham to force Sanchez to play defense most of this match and attack the space behind her. Rodman was forced into 21 duels. Keeping her from going forward.
A must win game for both sides. On paper this is a pretty 1 sided matchup given the teams trajectories. Having 2 weeks to recover, Gotham could return many of it's long list of injured players including Long, T Smith, Mewis, Edmonds, O'Hara. Giving Gotham one of the most ridiculously talented benches in league history. I predict a very difficult match for Houston as they will be trapped in their own half for most of this match. Gotham should win this game and clinch the playoffs. This will also set up a monster matchup away at Portland in a pivotal Shield winner contender showdown. Good teams win the games they are supposed to win.