top of page

Game Review: Gotham FC Belongs Here

Gary Gibson


Listen to our latest podcast with a conversation with Gotham FC defender Kristen Edmonds:

Gotham Belongs Here

Gotham FC is having one of their best starts in franchise history. A complete 180 from last season which was historically poor. Finishing last on the table. In the offseason Gotham spared no expense to reconstruct this roster. Bringing in known quantities and essentially going two deep at all positions.9 players in total arrived this season. 5 of Gotham's 11 starters in yesterday's match were new comers. Including new head coach Juan Carlos Amoros.

Washington has seen a similar turnaround. Finishing just 6 points ahead of Gotham in the 2022 standings. However, Washington brought back a lot of players and the main change is in bringing back head coach Mark Parsons to the NWSL.

For these two squads to be playing with first place on the line is a testament to the leagues parity. Where worst to first runs are possible and every game is competitive. This also makes these two teams runs even more remarkable. Both teams came into the game having scored 11 goals and giving up 7. Which is why on paper a draw feels like a predictable result.

Going into this run against the OL Reign and Washington Spirit, Gotham FC had faced on paper the easiest strength of schedule. Having played OL as their only top five opponent. Gotham went on to lose that match at home 2-0. Two road games against two top 5 teams with first place on the line in both games would really tell a lot about where this team is and if they deserve to be there.

In Seattle, Gotham ran ruthlessly roughshod over the talented and perennial top team. The press worked to perfection causing 13 interceptions. Gotham scored 2 goals within 12 minutes and were up 4-0 at one point. Gotham had 4 goals scored by 4 different players and thoroughly dominated the home side.

In Washington, Gotham had the talented Spirit pinned down in their own end for much of the match. The Spirit only completed 63 passes in Gotham's end of the field. Gotham held 61 percent possession and completed 128 passes in Washington's defensive side of the field.

Home teams generally come out to play. They have the crowd at their backs and they want to put on a show for their fans. Away teams are usually content to play more defensively and play for a draw.

In both matches Gotham started out on the front foot and high pressing the opposition. Dominating both first halves of play. Scoring early and often and not relenting after that.

Two players have really shined in these 2 games. MID/FWD Delanie Sheehan and DEF Bruninha.

Delanie was drafted by Freya Coombe. It's obvious to see why. Freya's possession based coaching philosophy favors players who can hold on to the ball and combine with teammates. Unfortunately for Delanie, Freya also has a poor record of developing young players and sticks to a favored 11. In order to get minutes Delanie was loaned out and upon returning to a new coach in Scott Parkinson who favored quick transition, Delanie just didn't fit in. Then after Parkinson's departure Interim coach Menzies was constantly tinkering with the lineup and formations and Delanie was never able to get consistent minutes. Which led some to question her role on this team. New coach Amoros has had no issues so far with giving players minutes and allowing for players to play in roles that suit their skill set. Delanie has found a niche for herself in this team. Her ability to find pockets, pull defenders to her and find outlet passes is similar to what Long does as a defensive midfielder. Those two to three seconds of hold up play allows Gotham to set up defensively in the opponents half and gives time for players like Bruninha and Nighswonger to face forward and get into the attack. As we inch closer to the World Cup break, Delanie has shown herself to be a very useful player in either the false 9 or 10.

Bruninha has now scored on her first two shots of her career. The talented Brazilian is now finding her form and is finding the balance on when to defend and when to go forward and take chances. This past game at Washington, Bruninha, unbeknownst to anyone on the opposition had made her way from right back to the top left side of the box. No player on Washington's side tracked her. She receives the ball and realizes no one is going to challenge her. One quick step to the right and dries a beautiful shot off the underside of the cross bar and beating a very good keeper in Kingsbury. In the past two games Gotham FC's outside backs have accounted for 3 goals. With her form she should be playing her way into a lock for the Brazilian national team roster for the world cup.

The fast starts led to both coaches admitting to being out played.

Laura Harvey on the first half dominance by Gotham:

“We obviously started off very poorly,” she said. “Credit to them, I thought they were excellent. We didn’t have a response to that. We played ourselves into danger a lot, didn’t realize it quick enough. Obviously two goals of theirs come from mistakes from us, but I’m not going to take anything away from them. I thought that they were up for it, they were on the front foot, they won first and second balls. They did all the things that you have to do in this league to be hard to beat".

Mark Parson on the first half dominance by Gotham

“I'm sorry the team bus was late dropping everyone off — me included,” Parsons said. “We didn't arrive until halftime.”.

Forcing top teams to play the way you want to is a sign of a good team. Especially on the road. As Gotham heads home to face a very good San Diego Wave team with undoubtedly first place on the line again. If the past two games has shown anything is that Gotham can compete with anyone. That they can impose their style of play on the best coached teams in the league.

It proves that Gotham belongs at the top of the table. That Gotham belongs here.

33 views0 comments
Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page