Gotham look for revenge against OL Reign
Gotham enters the late afternoon match against the OL Reign eyeing revenge and first place. After they saw the Washington Spirit fell 2 - 1 in Orlando. OL will also be trying to secure that first seed and avoid back-to-back defeats for the first time since June 2021. Gotham has relied heavily on its newest superheroes Lynn Williams and Abby Smith. Juan acknowledged after the draw to Orlando on Mother's Day at home the other players need to step up, it can't just be on Lynn Williams to get the goals. The Reign lead the series and have won the last four meetings.
“Football is not how it starts; it’s how it finishes. Obviously, for us it’s a moment of pride, but we just need to keep working. Next, we will have another difficult challenge going to Washington, so now we start preparing for that game.” Gotham FC Head Coach Juan Carlos Amorós
Gotham wastes no time in attacking the Reign who are again without Rosie Lavelle who destroyed the Gotham midfield and backline in the team's last meeting at Red Bull Arena. Jenna Nighswonger is back, and she wasted no time scoring in the 10' off a nice pass from Kristie Mewis, she scored from roughly 30 yards from goal.
Then two minutes later Williams gets in front of her defender and goes straight to goal beating Phallon 1 v 1 to the 2nd post on a low-driven ball. She not only adds to her tally on her birthday she moves even closer to Sam Kerr's 77 career goals. Lynn is now at 62 with plenty of games left to the season and her career.
The Reign's unbeaten streak at home is in serious jeopardy already just 15' into the match. The NWSL needs some new announcers fast, the poor analysis is killing the enjoyment of watching the match. The half had a few delays due to injury and the teams started to settle in after Gotham got out to the fast 2 - 0 lead. Taylor Smith in the 38' would convert from the penalty mark area with a low driven blast toward the 2nd post and put Gotham up 3 - 0 late
in the first half. The Reign are a completely different team without Rosie Lavelle, her absence is evident in the style of play and missed opportunities. When these two sides met earlier this season OL dominated the midfield and gave the Gotham backline fits for a little over 50' of play before they slowed Lavelle and Fishlock down. The half would end with Gotham up 3 - 0 and in full control of the match. The Reign looks like a youth team right now against Gotham FC which is a rare site to see out of OL who normally are the ones dominating others in the league.
“I think that everyone has in their mind last year’s Gotham, and that’s not this year’s Gotham.” “In this league and in the moment, you can’t think about the past, and you’re only as great as your next game.” “I think that when I’m having joy in playing, I play my best soccer, and I think that that was happening tonight. I say this all the time: ‘With soccer, no matter how much pressure we put on ourselves and how much stress we put on ourselves, at the end of the day it’s a child’s game, it’s supposed to be played with joy and happiness.’” Gotham FC forward Lynn Williams
The second half was more of the same as the first half, Gotham FC pretty much controlled the entire half again. In the 73' Gotham would take a demanding 4 - 0 lead and more than secure their victory today over the Reign. Bruninha found space at the left of the goal, just outside the 6-yard box, and she went top left inside the 1st post for the goal. Abby Smith continued to dominate in goal keeping the Reign frustrated and off the scoring sheet. Smith was called on a few times this match to come up big for her team, but overall, she wasn't busy like she had been in the previous meeting that the Reign won 2 - 0 on a rain-soaked night in Harrison, NJ. The Reign would break through late in this match scoring in the 77' off a corner kick, Huitema found the ball in the box and finished with a strike sending the ball low inside the 2nd post. Lynn Williams will want that one back, as it was her bad first touch that sent the ball to Huitema at the top of the 6-yard box. The Reign would try and punish Gotham physically in the remaining minutes, but Gotham isn't the team that just takes it. With the 4 - 1 victory Gotham FC now sits in 1st place, a spot they looked all the way up to last season with no chance in sight of ever achieving. It's safe to say the naysayers are quiet with Juan excelling at his job and taking last season's joke to the top of the charts and already better than last season. Now yes, it's early in the season and plenty of football to play but no one can say this team isn't an improvement from last season in some regards. Gotham stays on the road and heads to former first-place holders Washington Spirit. The match is set to be an epic battle of highly skilled talent in the nation's capital. Juan Carlos has simply been a soccer mastermind this season taking a lineup filled with injuries and new players to a spot many denied would happen. The remainder of the season will be fun to watch and hopefully, New York and New Jersey will finally wake up and show up for this amazingly talented team. Happy Birthday Lynn Williams you're first class.