Photo Credit: Dave Janosz

Gotham FC returns to Red Bull Arena for home opener

The NWSL champions will be welcomed home this weekend as they face the Kansas City Current.

The reigning champs will play their first home game of the season. Gotham has only played two games; its record stands at one win and one loss. Before this past international break, Gotham had lost 1-0 to the North Carolina Courage. After keeping the Courage at bay, the Bats could not convert on the other end of the pitch.

For their third game, the Bats face off against the top team in the league. Kansas City Current is the only NWSL team with a perfect record after three matchdays. The Current won their first two games by one goal, while their last match against Angel City FC saw them win with a comfortable two-goal advantage. Despite having the lower percentage of possession in all three of their games, the Current were able to take advantage of the shots they had on goal.

Gotham will look to improve its shot quality. In their last game against the Courage, the Bats had 15 total shots and zero on target. With the quality of players on the Gotham roster, the shot quality should be much better. As the Courage proved in the previous game, scoring a goal only takes one shot on target.

On a night where the club is raising their championship banner, Gotham must look to score. They must find a way to get Esther Gonzalez going early and involve Yazmeen Ryan, whoever coach Juan Carlos Amoros, who has decided to put Crystal Dunn on the other side of Gonzalez, most recently. Gotham does not have trouble building up from the back; it is just that their creativity in the final third is lacking.

In the previous two games, Coach Amoros has kept newcomers Dunn, Emily Sonnett, Sam Hiatt, and Tierna Davidson in the starting eleven. Though early in the season, this matchup will show if Amoros has confidence in this starting eleven to improve, even if it means losing right now.

Hiatt and Davidson's center-back partnership has been working well. They have only let in one goal over the last two games starting together. The switching between Bruninha and Kelley O'Hara may not be helping with chemistry; however, when one starts, the other is on the bench. With how the game is played, fullbacks have to be able to get up and down the pitch on both offense and defense. Defense, however, should be important to them as they are still defenders. If Gotham can keep up the defensive intensity, the offense will eventually come.

The game between Gotham and the Current is on Sunday at 6 p.m. at Red Bull Arena. It will be streamed on NWSL+.

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