NJ/NY Gotham FC (2-0-0, 6 points) are heading to Washington D.C. on Tuesday, April 27, to take on the Washington Spirit (1-0-2, 3 points), in their third 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup matchup presented by Secret Deodorant. The contest from Audi Field will be streamed on Paramount+ and Twitch (international) with kickoff set for 7 p.m. ET. The game will be presented to Gotham FC fans by Saker ShopRites
Gotham FC is coming off an exciting last-minute 4-3 home win against North Carolina Courage last Tuesday night, which positioned them solely at the top of the East group. Gotham FC now controls their destiny as the only team in the East without a loss.
Forwards Midge Purce and Ifeoma Onumonu currently lead the club in goals and assists, respectively, and have played major roles in Gotham FC’s recent success. Purce scored two vital goals in her return from international duty against the North Carolina Courage and Onumonu has been the creator of both game winners for Gotham in the series.
“It always feels good to be able to contribute to the team and get us points when they’re needed,” said Onumonu. “Going into our upcoming game against the Washington Spirit, it is going to be a hard one. It’s always been difficult to play the Spirit for us, but I’m optimistic about it and I think we’re starting to find a rhythm within the team.”
Washington Spirit are coming off a 1-0 road loss at Orlando Pride Wednesday, marking their 2nd loss of the Cup. They defeated Racing Louisville FC 1-0 on April 15th. The Spirit have been dominant in games, but have struggled to be clinical in the attacking final third. As a team, they register first in the tournament on total shots and shots on target. Forwards Trinity Rodman and Kumi Yokoyama have been their biggest threats up front with two goals and an assist between them, while forward Ashley Hatch individually leads all players for total shots in the Cup.
Veteran U.S. international Kelley O’Hara made her Spirit debut against the Pride, in what turned out to be an eventful night for the defender. In search of an equalizer after an early Pride lead, O’Hara had a stunning goal off a free-kick called back by referees in the first half and was red carded in the final moments of the second half, rendering her out for the Gotham matchup Tuesday.
“Going into this game against the Spirit, we’re looking for the combination and consistency to build upon our last two games,” said Head Coach Freya Coombe. “For us, it’s about being able to control their ability to switch the field and go and use both wide areas and make it more predictable and compact.”
After Tuesday’s match, Gotham FC will conclude their Challenge Cup group play with another home game against traveling side, Racing Louisville FC, on Sunday, May 2, at 12:30 p.m. ET at Montclair State University Soccer Park’s Pittser Field. The match is currently sold out. Regular season tickets and Season Ticket Memberships for Gotham FC home games will be on sale soon.
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