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Game preview @ Portland. What to look for.

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As discussed on the last podcast both Ruby and I believe this game is an extremely telling game about where Gotham fits in the pecking order. If Gotham wants to prove they are a top five team this is the game to prove it. The past couple meetings with Portland including the challenge cup final were even matchups where Gotham game up just short. Even though we're only a third of the way into the season this feels like a statement game.

Here are some things I'm looking for.

Who's healthy? Both teams will be missing international players but Gotham in particular is going in with some serious question marks in the lineup. Already down Paige Monahan who was having a stellar season before going down with a hamstring injury. Losing freeman and Haracic in back to back weeks really hurts this teams ability to shut teams down. If both Freeman and Haracic are back this team should be confident in getting at least a point in this one.

Matching youth for youth. I expect to see Portland play their 15 year old phenom. It's time for Gotham to play their own young star. Brianna Pinto on the left with Purce on the right and Onumonu up top is a scary trio. Perhaps sodam Lee underneath in the 10. Gotham needs to make a statement here and putting your best attacking pieces on the field at once is the way to get there.

Lastly, will this be the game we see Gaëtane Thiney? Gaëtane is a killer. She's a seasoned veteran who had consistently scored goals throughout her storied career. I'm expecting Gaëtane to get her first NWSL minutes as a second half sub. Gaëtane had a nose for goal and I'm looking for her to turn a 1-1 game in it's head. Scoring a late goal and bringing home a much deserved road win. The perfect debut.

Prediction: Gotham wins this game 2-1.

Gary Gibson

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