NJ/NY Gotham FC played their home re-opener on Sunday against second-year expansion team, Racing Louisville FC. Gotham's home opener was initially scheduled for May 14 against the North Carolina Courage. Unfortunately, the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) canceled the match due to several positive COVID-19 cases on the away side.
Head coach Scott Parkinson commented on the postponement: "I have never experienced anything like it. We [the team] were devastated."
Gotham lost the match against Racing Louisville 1-0. Lauren Millet scored the lone goal to give the away team three points. Gotham had quite a few chances, but five shots hit the crossbar, which tied the Chicago Red Stars against North Carolina Courage match in 2019 for most posts hit in a single game in NWSL history.
Hey, crossbar, @GothamFC would like to have a chat.
— The Equalizer (@EqualizerSoccer) May 22, 2022
Gotham's lineup consisted of a bit of a rotation as Michelle Betos got the start in goal, while Mandy Freeman got the start at center back for the first time during the regular season. Louisville had an expected lineup with Jess McDonald and USWNT young stars Emily Fox and Jaelin Howell.
The home side immediately came out with a slow start. Louisville controlled the match for most of the game, but the moment that mattered was the 13th minute. McDonald crossed the ball into the box where a wide-open Millet shot the ball centrally past Betos, giving the away team a 1-0 lead.
One of the first real chances from Gotham FC occurred in the 30th minute with a stunning strike from Nahomi Kawasumi. After the ball was headed out of danger, Kawasumi hit a powerful volley that was unfortunately saved by Louisville's goalkeeper Katie Lund. Contributing to the frustration seen by the home side, Kristie Mewis had two consecutive shots hit off the crossbar before the halftime whistle.
— NJ/NY Gotham FC (@GothamFC) May 23, 2022
Parkinson made two substitutions at the half, bringing on Margaret Purce for Paige Monaghan and Cameron Tucker for Kumi Yokoyama. Coming into the second half, Gotham FC had more attacking chances and moved up the field well as a unit. The team hit the crossbar three more times in the half, ultimately denying every chance of scoring the team had.
Mewis commented on the team's performance: "I think that we're not problem-solving quick enough and that's our biggest issue. Effort isn't going to win you every single game and we need to be able to problem-solve and we have to be able to get wins under our belt."
What's Up Next For NJ/NY Gotham FC?
NJ/NY Gotham FC continues the regular season with a match away against Angel City FC on May 29. The team will face off against their previous coach Freya Coombe for the first time since her departure. You can watch NJ/NY Gotham FC on Paramount+.