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Game Preview VS Orlando in Chester

Updated: Dec 1, 2022

Gary Gibson

Listen to our latest podcast here: Featuring Gotham FC back up keeper Hensley Hancuff. Our 6th Gotham FC player interview this season!!!

11th place NJ/NY Gotham FC (4-0-10 12pts) travels ?! to Chester Pennsylvania for a home game against resurgent 8th place Orlando Pride (4-6-5 18pts). Saturday August 20th 7pm. Game will also be streaming on Paramount + and Twitch. Both teams are in different stages of a rebuild. Orlando with heavy roster turnover and an interim coach Seb Hines and Gotham also with an Interim coach in his third game. Gotham has seen improvement in each of the last two games Hue Menzies was at the helm. Orlando is coming into PA on a good run of form and hasn't lost in 6 matches. Gotham on the other hand, Have won in their last 6 matches.

Here are some items of note for this matchup.

Matchup of the 1st and 2nd black head coaches in the league. Both taking over as interim coaches this season. Representation matters.

Should be a beautiful night for soccer in Chester. 87 degrees at kickoff and partly cloudy. There is usually a breeze that flows into the open air stadium from the Delaware river. For those that haven't been there is always something cool about seeing a bridge in the background of a stadium. Chance of rain 0% after 5pm. Sound does not travel well in the stadium so be prepared to chant along with Cloud9 @cloud9goth to amplify their voice!

Last time these teams faced off was May 1st. Where Kristie Mewis, Midge Purce and captain McCall Zerboni got on the score board in the 1st half. Gotham dominated early and put on the brakes in the second half. This was the last multi-goal win for Gotham this season. This result seems irrelevant as both teams are completely different and at different stages of figuring out their identities. Last time out Sydney Leroux was on roster for Orlando. Orlando announced this week the arrival of forward Ally Watt. Also this week, Gotham FC announced the trade of NWSL Defender of the Year 2021 Caprice Dydasco to the Houston Dash.

Read about it here:

Line-up thoughts and predictions:

Gotham comes into this matchup with a nearly fully healthy roster. Only Long out for maternity leave and Domi Richardson out for season ending injury. Midge Purce out for suspension due to red card from Houston match.

The questions for this line-up is after two strong performances, does Jennifer Cudjoe get the start again in this one. Torres is growing into the position but Cudjoe looks like a best 11 player. Also, after missing the past couple games for a very positive excused absence, do Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris return to the starting line-up? Ellie Jean has looked better each minute she's been on the field but has some pretty big cleats to fill in the absence of Dydasco who had featured in every game since coming to Sky Blue, now Gotham FC. Jean had Sanchez in her pocket for most of the Houston game. Hopefully she continues that good form into this one.

Gotham has taken multiple steps forward in their quest to regain their 2021 form under Hue Menzies. First was a sense of cohesiveness against OL reign and better defensive effort against Houston until the red card threw a wrench in the spokes of a team looking destined to get at least a point.

This is a matchup of the teams with lowest goal differentials -13 (Pride) and -18 (Gotham) respectively. Both teams struggle to score and have trouble keeping the ball out of the net. However, Orlando has kept a clean sheet in their past 2 games where Gotham hasn't kept a clean sheet in 9 matches. The top scorers for each team available for this match have scored 2 goals on the season Jenkins, Cluff, Doyle for Pride and Zerboni, Monaghan, Smith for Gotham.

What the Gotham fans want to see out of this team as the improvement for this match?

It's a tie! Fans want to see this Gotham score some goals and just win, baby!!! We agree here. LET'S GO GOTHAM!!!!

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