Game Preview VS Courage
Updated: Dec 1, 2022
Gotham FC (12th 4-0-12) plays a Covid delayed make-up game against the Courage (9th 4-4-7) at Red Bull Arena this Sunday 5PM. Streaming on Paramount + and Twitch internationally. Here are three items of note for this game.
Both Gotham FC and the Courage will be without important players from their rosters due to international game commitments. Here are the confirmed and potential missing players:
Gotham: Midge Purce, Ifeoma Onumonu and Kristie Mewis will be away as the United States plays Nigeria on September 3rd and 6th. Update below
Courage: Debinha, Kerolin, Murphy, O'Sullivan, Ordonez. Update below
Gotham seems poised to handle the missing players better as Debinha and O'Sullivan make up the spine of this team and they provide the defensive and offensive bite respectively. Also the potential of Ordonez and Kerolin takes a large bit out of the Courage's attack. Gotham has a deep roster with quality depth at all positions.
Gotham FC Interim coach Hue Menzies has come out with 3 different formations and three different line-ups the past 3 games. So perhaps this is a futile exercise. But I'll try none the less. Here is one way this could go.
The other options I can see are Smith in the right back spot again. Menzies went with Krieger in the DM spot one week and now it seems permanent. Smith had a great game as an outside back last week. He may have made up his mind about Smith. If that is the case it could be Tucker and Monaghan up top. A lot of straight line speed between those two.
This could be it
Every Game under interim coach Hue Menzies has brought Gotham inching closer being competitive again. Last match Gotham dominated possession and pinned back their opponent Angel City for most of the match. Finally showing off a level of interconnectedness we haven't seen from this team in a long time. There are only two hurdles left to clear. The first is shaking off the "all falls apart" mentality when something goes wrong. Each match Gotham seems to take less time between regaining their composure. The last hurdle is simply putting the ball in the net. 22 shots and 12 corners in their last match. Opportunities are coming at a larger clip. Expected goals are rising. Feels like that first domino is about to fall. Feels like against a team missing multiple game changers at home, with the crowd behind them, this may be the time to break the streak of losses. We saw a 75 minute minute dominant performance from this squad against Angel City. The time and circumstances feel right for a full 90 minutes performance. I know they have it in them. Let's go Gotham!
One last thought: Ref selection
After what can only be described as amateur hour at Red Bull Arena last week which forced PRO to make a very uncharacteristic statement that admitted an egregious error took place.
This week, in a seemingly good faith effort by PRO, they assigned this match against the courage to one of their most experienced refs. Armando Villarreal has had assignments at the highest levels of regional competition and is widely regarded as a competent referee.
While this will not solve the error made in last week's match, Villarreal is experienced enough to take actions that would have avoided the error last week.