In a match that could have easily gotten away from the team, NJ/NY Gotham FC managed to take a point at home against the Chicago Red Stars on Saturday night. The game marks the team's first after parting ways with former head coach Freya Coombe. Newly appointed head coach Scott Parkinson was unable to attend the match, but Assistant Coach Becki Tweed led the team to an entertaining draw against the visiting Red Stars.
It is the statistics that tell the story more than the score line for this game. Although Gotham FC dominated possession as is their typical style, the Chicago Red Stars had nearly twice the total shots. The Red Stars had the better chances in the first half, although Gotham FC's defense held strong aided by excellent goalkeeping by Player of the Match Kailen Sheridan.
— NJ/NY Gotham FC (@GothamFC) September 5, 2021
The game at times was choppy, with two yellow cards for each team being given, including one to Carli Lloyd who recently announced her plans to retire at the end of the season. Lloyd recorded the most shots taken for Gotham FC, although she was ultimately unsuccessful in getting the ball in the back of the net.
After the game, goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan praised Gotham FC's defense. "We've always been underestimated, and I'm ok with that," Sheridan said. "We're going to go out there and show you why you're wrong every time." She described the team's defense as "phenomenal" and said she feels "incredibly lucky" to work with the people at Gotham FC. She went on to say that bettering their attack is one of the team's main goals and something they will be focusing on in the upcoming weeks.
Sheridan also mentioned that the team faced limited opportunities to train over the last few days because of the harsh weather conditions the New Jersey/New York area faced this week with the remnants of Hurricane Ida. The area saw unprecedented flooding and damage to roads, homes, and other facilities.
TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater. Home of the Somerset Patriots. pic.twitter.com/yK3ceZOKKc
— Jersey Sporting News (@JSNSPORTINGNEWS) September 2, 2021
Although the game was tough, acting head coach Becki Tweed was pleased that Gotham FC managed to get a clean sheet. “I think we knew it was going to be a fight going into it and we had to compete," Tweed said. "They pressed us really high and we had to try to solve that, but a clean sheet which is something we’re really happy about and something that we’re striving for. Now we can reset and use these next couple of weeks to really build into getting back to three points again.”
What's Next for Gotham FC?
Gotham FC now has a three week international break before returning home on September 25th to take on the North Carolina Courage.