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Gotham FC Open 2024 Regular Season with a 1-0 Victory on the Road Against Portland Thorns

Gary Gibson



In a tightly contested battle, Gotham FC emerged victorious with a hard-fought 1-0 win against the Portland Thorns on March 24th, 2024. The win sees Gotham, one of the best road teams of 2023 leaving with all three points, while the Thorns suffer their second consecutive defeat to start the season. 

Esther Gonzalez the Heroine

The game remained scoreless for most of the match, with both teams struggling to break through each other's defenses. However, the deadlock was finally broken in the 72nd minute by Gotham FC's Spanish star, Esther Gonzalez. Yazmeen Ryan provided a pinpoint cross that found Gonzalez unmarked in the box. The World Cup winner displayed her composure with a clinical finish, placing the ball neatly into the corner of the net. This proved to be the game-winner. 

Defensive Resilience from Gotham FC

While Gonzalez deserves the plaudits for the winning goal, credit must also go to Gotham FC's resolute defensive display. The backline, marshaled by enforcer Tierna Davidson, and newcomer Sam Hiatt stood firm against the Portland attack. They effectively thwarted numerous attempts from the likes of Sophia Smith and Christine Sinclair, denying the Thorns any clear-cut opportunities. 35 clearances on the night. 21 in the first half where Portland had the defending champs on the back foot for a lot of the early going. 

Miller Provides Stellar Goalkeeping

Sophia Smith was her usual menacing self. Harassing Davidson and Hiatt for most of the match. The defense held up in only allowing the USWNT star to only 4 shots on goal; those 4 shots were dangerous and Cassie Miller stood her ground and came up with 6 big stops. Miller was beaten twice by Sophia Smith and each time the goal was called back for being offside. Filling in for the injured starter Abby Smith until her return, Cassie has been a competent and mistake free starter. 

Foundation Remains Strong

While Gotham boasts many national team players whose names steal the headlines, you cannot overshadow the contributions of the Gotham midfield engine. Sheehan, Martin, Ryan are the engine that drives the Gotham machine. Ryan, out of the starting line-up for the first time since October 1st, provided the spark the team needed and the game winning assist. Gotham had trouble getting Portland’s midfield out of the center of the park. Ryan made the one run that was missing all game from Gotham. A darting run across the midfield into open space on the flanks finally opened up the Thorns. Then playing a beautiful cross through 4 defenders that world champ Esther was just not going to miss. 

Injuries Mounting for Gotham FC

Gotham was missing 8 players for this one. Edmonds, Farrelly, Williams, Lopez, Zerboni, A Smith, T. Smith, and Lavelle. Gotham FC coach Amoros has complained about the pre season USWNT gold cup tournament and how both Williams and Lavelle came back injured. In this match, fellow USWNT star Midge Purce went down on the turf twice, having to leave the game. Gotham has enough depth, next woman up mentality, and the system is the star tactics. But Gotham needs to start getting healthy soon. It is going to be a long season. This is a crucial time for USWNT players to stay healthy with the Olympics looming. And for the rest of the team with a new summer tournament against Liga MX Femenil coming.

A Crucial Three Points for Gotham FC

This win is a significant statement of intent from Gotham FC. Stealing victory away from a strong team like Portland on their home turf demonstrates their resilience and title-winning aspirations. The performances of Gonzalez, Davidson, Hiatt, Miller, and Ryan were instrumental in securing the win, and they'll be hoping to continue their impressive form as they head to a very tough matchup for the road warriors against the Courage.

Stay Tuned! New Podcast coming this Thursday.

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