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Gotham's home opener is upon us! They return to Red Bull Arena this Saturday 7:30PM. Streaming live on Paramount+ and NWSL.com for international audiences. Here are some storylines going into this game.
Getting this stacked roster down to 18 every game is going to be a challenge. This squad is just talented from top to bottom. Gotham put put a strong lineup against Angel City and brought in Nighswonger, Pickett, Gudmusdottir, Zerboni and Flores. It was hard to notice that regulars Imani Dorsey, Taylor Smith and Nahomi Kawasumi did not make the 18 and not listed on any injury list. When asked about it head coach Amoros just said "It is an competitive environment and they have the same opportunity as their teammates to make the roster". It seems every game there are going to be names left off the 18 that could start for other teams. This can lead to an environment that raises the level of all the players as everyone is trying to make the 18.
Gotham went with three center backs in the opener against Angel City. Gotham only has 3 natural center backs on the roster. When captain Krieger went down with a calf injury, Allie long acted as a 3rd center back and Gotham ultimately shifted to a back 4. Amoros says Krieger will be a game-time decision. It remains to be seen how this team handles injuries in a spot that's thin with natural players. We have heard Nealy Martin can play as a center back and we heard that Nighswonger had been tried out as a center back in the preseason. If Gotham continues to come out in a back 3 this will be concerning.
Ifeoma Onumonu has been missing from training from a hip injury and seems that she will be evaluated. I would expect that she does not make the 18 this weekend.
Lynn Williams still has her arm taped up but expects to play Saturday.
Notes from home:
The home opener is days away. Red Bull Arena is one of the cathedrals to soccer in the United States. Here are some things you should know.
This is the first tailgate of the season. Join Cloud9 in their usual spot Usually 3 hours before game time.
While you are at it. get a membership
There will also be a new tradition starting at this game. A torch lighting
Exclusive merch at the game:
And discounted tickets
Thoughts on the matchup
Gotham FC has not kept a clean sheet in 18 matches. OL has not scored in their last 2 matches. Could this be the game they break that streak. One streak was broken last game as Gotham got their first win since last July. OL returns a lot of their team from last season and hasn't really gone out to improve their roster over the offseason. We like Gotham's chances here.