Gotham finally gets rewarded for their fast starts to matches but the Spirit gain momentum after a free kick goal from Sanchez and never relinquish control. Gotham leaves Red Bull Arena with their first home loss in 6 games. Here are three things we learned.
Imani Dorsey is vital to this team's success. Trinity Rodman is a killer. Yet despite her seemingly limitless potential she had run into a roadblock on the left side of Gotham's defence. Rodman has found success against Gotham but only from the left side working the space behind dydasco and cutting across to the middle. Dorsey has out smarted Trinity in their matchups so far. Dorsey was well on her way to doing this again until the collision with O'Hara took her out for the match. With Ellie Jean recovering from an illness Ali Krieger was tasked with tracking the talented youngster. Ali did well but you could see the impact of Rodman post Dorsey leaving the field. Last season Gotham struggled to fill Imani's shoes when she went down with injury. Gotham is better equipped this season with Jean, a talented outside back in her own right. But looks like bad timing. I want to see this matchup again and again. I'll take Dorsey 9 times out of 10.
Midfield is still being sorted out. Zerboni is at her best when she's the lone defensive midfielder. However, with Washington's mobile attack, it was asking a bit too much of her to cover the amount of ground needed. Yesterday, Mewis, a natural 10 was playing more of an 8 or deep lying play maker. And Kawasumi a natural winger was also in the 8 the entire match. Both were serviceable but not being used to their potential. Neither are defensive minded players. It may have been advantageous to play a traditional 8/6 like Torres who also has the mobility to track the dangerous Sanchez. With long and Cudjoe out, options are getting thin.
First time since we've covered the team did it feel like Gotham was out of ideas. We think highly of Livingstone's prospects and we're glad she got to play her first professional minutes at home in front of a cheering fan section. However, with the team down two goals, subbing in a center back is a packing it in sort of substitution. Gotham is a team that keeps fighting until the end. This was an odd substitution. But again, it's still a preseason tournament.
Next podcast will be out Thursday.