Updated: Apr 26, 2022
Gotham FC leaves Red Bull Arena with a point against lowly Orlando in a game where Gotham shows signs of being the team they were in 2021 and finally shows signs of what could be in 2022. Here are three things we learned.
The future is the past. Gotham in the second half reverted back to the team they looked like in 2021. Moving the ball around in synchronicity. Dictating where and how the game was being played and getting behind Orlando's backline over and over. Playing comfortably out of the back as Harris was more involved in the buildup. As noted by Coach Parkinson:
This was a "step in the right direction" for a team missing three key players in Midge Purce, Allie Long and Imani Dorsey.
Kumi has arrived. A tremendous game from the crafty veteran. The understanding of spacing between Kawasumi and Yokoyama was evident as both played 10 yards from each other most of the match. Helping each other hold the ball, find those pockets of space in the Orlando midfield and playing clever through balls in the space between the center backs. Unlocking the Orlando defense over and over. Both players had and created chances on the night and a very big reason Gotham looked like the team that carved up defensives last season through clever passing. Kumi's ability to connect passes took a lot of attention off of Mewis as Kristie started to look comfortable in the system.
Paige Monahan looks best 11. My player of the tournament. Dangerous every time she has the ball. She got behind Orlando's defense nearly automatically. Deceptively fast and with a non stop motor she was creating havoc all night and all tournament long. There is going to come a point where her hard work gets rewarded. Tonight was not that night as she hits the cross bar on a similar run to Midge Purce last week. Her time is coming. The only criticism is for her to stop fouling players at the top of the box as she tracks back to help out the defense. Other than that, a flawless performance and I bet her fitness tracker needed a day off after logging so many miles.
Gotham returns to action May 1st at 7pm. This time in Orlando as they look to build upon the performance from last night.