Preseason is almost upon us. We are still patiently awaiting Gotham FC's preseason roster drop which could come at any time. Gotham has made a lot of moves and bolstered the roster. Most recently signing Icelandic forward Svava Rós Guðmundsdóttir, giving the team a much needed attacking threat if Purce, Onumonu, Williams, and Mewis are missing time for the world cup tournament.
Please check out the https://www.soccerovergotham.com/post/contract-status-and-off-season-moves for the up to date roster status.
Gotham is essentially two deep at every position and 4 deep at keeper. Which leaves a lot of questions for this club. Here are 5 storylines I'm tracking going into this preseason.
- Is Zerboni still a captain?
Gotham returns their captain over the last 2 seasons on a 1 year deal. Last season Mcall shared captain duties with Imani Dorsey. The midfield got crowded in the past season. The addition of Victoria Pickett, Yazmeen Ryan, and the return of Delanie Sheehan who all will be looking to compete for minutes with Zerboni, Torres, Mewis, rookie Jenna Nighswonger, and the returning Allie Long. New coach Juan Carlos Amorós utilized a 4-3-3 last season exclusively. That is 7 players at least fighting for 3 spots in the middle. There should be a lot of rotation in personnel. Other candidates to hold captaincy with Dorsey would be Krieger, Long, or O'Hara.
- 4 Goal Keepers?
Gotham is possibly the deepest team in the league at this point. Every position having multiple starters at it. Gotham has 4 keepers on roster. Going into the offseason I was for sure thinking Hensley Hancuff was coming in as the back-up to Michelle Betos and possibly overtake her as the season progressed. In comes Abby Smith. A player who is talented and deserving of starting minutes. At that point the order was Smith the number 1 and Hancuff/Betos fighting for the number 2 spot. Now with the return of highly talented Mandy Haught who hasd a great season starting in Sweden who knows. The prevailing thought on sending Hensley Hancuff and Mandy Haught on loan is that they needed minutes. How do you get minutes for 4 keepers? Would either Mandy or Hensley be ok with another season in the waits when they both have been getting consistent minutes on loan?
What does Gotham do with these riches at a position they can only start one at? Does Gotham trade or send out on loan one of these players?
- Assistant coaches?
Call us old fashioned over here at Soccer Over Gotham. But shouldn't a team have assistant coaches? We're sure that new coach Juan Carlos Amorós is a competent coach but he can't and shouldn't be doing everything. Gotham last season had 2 assistant coaches in Becki Tweed and Bev Yanez. Brody Sams the goal keeping coach was often referred to as assistant coach at times. Gotham shouldn't be going into preseason with just a head coach and goal keeping coach. If Gotham wants to start the season off right they need to fill these vacancies and quickly.
- Attacking without Midge, Ifeoma, Kristie, Williams
A big question heading into this off season was how does Gotham sustain an attack when the big three attackers will be away at the world cup. You can now add Williams to the mix. 4 attackers missing for good chunks of the season. However, Gotham has added some depth attacking pieces. Possible projected starting midfield and attackers in a 4-3-3.
Don't count out Kawasumi in playing a big role in this attack. Being one of the best assist providers in the history of the league. With the fire power Williams, Smith, Purce and Guðmundsdóttir, having a player who can just play them through from the wing is a great option. Being honest, there are multiple ways to use these players. Ryan could slot inside as an attacking midfielder and Bruninha could move up to left wing. You could put O'hara on the wing, Smith in the middle and Svava out left. There is a lot of flexibility with this squad and shouldn't skip too many beats when players are away.
- Roster spots
There are only 26 roster spots allowed. With supplemental rosters spots such as National team replacement players. Please refer back to the off season roster moves tracker posted above. Gotham now has 26 players under contract. We didn't hear about the details of O'Hara's contract until a couple days ago. Flores is still unknown. With 26 players on roster and 2 rookies unsigned, it will be curious to see if Gotham is done making moves. It's possible one of the keepers gets moved and Nighswonger signs a regular contract and Hocking is signed as a supplemental.