Gotham FC (12th 4-0-13) returns to Red Bull Arena, Harrison NJ to welcome Jersey girl Kristen Edmonds and the KC Current (4th 8-5-4). Kickoff 6PM, Paramount + and Twitch. The last time these two faced off at Red Bull Arena, it was the rain delayed Pride match where the match started and ended on different days. These teams have only faced off 3 times. With two 1-1 draws and a single 1-0 KC victory at home this season.
This is a matchup of two teams on two different trajectories. Gotham started the season as a favorite and never got going. KC was not expected to do much this season with Lynn Williams and Sam Mewis missing for the season. Yet despite this, the Current have pulled together a run of form that is almost unmatched. Unbeaten since late May and are climbing into the top 3 of the table. Although, Gotham has rebounded since late and are now playing good soccer, this looks one sided on paper. Here are some items of note for this matchup.
Return of Internationals
Gotham nearly put together a 90 minutes performance last time out and was undone by an unfortunate deflection. Two games ago, the partnership of Ifeoma Onumonu and Midge Purce in a 4-4-2 setup looked every bit the exciting strike pair we were hoping to see all season. Gotham has figured out ways to get scoring chances and increased number of shots over the past couple games. One has to wonder if the strike pair of Onumonu and Purce were afforded the opportunities Gotham saw last game, might they have been able to break through. I'd like to see Gotham return to the 4-4-2 and have top 3 regular season assist leader Kawasumi playing balls in from wide areas on the left and Taylor Smith getting forward on the right. That should get these two going. Also, new comer Victoria Pickett should be doing the dirty work underneath that should free up these two. A skillset Gotham has been missing all season.
Can Gotham get a point here?
Gotham is on pace to do what no other team in NWSL regular season has ever done. Complete a season without a draw. North Carolina in 2017 and Orlando in 2016 both finished the season with a single draw. As far as this match is concerned, this is the definition of a trap game for the Current. Coming into Red Bull Arena against a team that has struggled to find form and playing essentially for their jobs next season, this is a good opportunity for Gotham to put those final pieces together and possibly get all three points. The energy in Red Bull Arena would be amazing were that to happen.
Reasons to be optimistic:
KC, although on a great run have only had 3 clean sheets in their last 10. And 2 of those coming against struggling teams such as Washington and Gotham. Kc have given up 6 goals in their last 3. KC has also conceded the most penalties this season. There will be chances to get on the board here. If Gotham gets one goal, there is good reason to believe more are coming. Washington Spirit just got their 2nd win of the season by grinding it out against a top team. Arguably, Gotham is in better form. Anything is possible. Let's go Gotham!