3 things we learned from Gotham FC's 2-0 loss against the Washington Spirit

  • Gotham FC fell 2-0 to the Washington Spirit in the first meeting between the two this season
  • This is the third time in five games Gotham has been held scoreless
Lynn Williams of Gotham FC
Lynn Williams of Gotham FC / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

In the first meeting of the season between the geographical Northeast rivals, NJ/NY Gotham FC lost 2-0 to the Washington Spirit in front of a Spirit record crowd of 15,004. The Bats continued their troubling early season trend of failing to find the back of the net as the team failed to convert on any one of their eleven total shots.

The injury blows just keep on coming for this Gotham FC team as Tierna Davidson unfortunately came off after just 20 minutes after pulling up on a defensive recovery run.

The only potential bright spot was 2024 first-round pick Maycee Bell making her debut as a 75th-minute substitute for Bruninha.

Let's take a look at some of the things we learned from this match against Washington.

3 things we learned from Gotham FC's 2-0 loss

1. Crystal Dunn needs start evert game

It is obvious that Crystal Dunn needs to start every game but this feels like something that needs to be said. For the second game in a row, Dunn started on the bench and eventually came on as a substitute. Both times, she made an immediate impact in helping Gotham FC push things forward and create more offensively. While that didn't translate to a goal in this game like it did last week against the Kansas City Current, the difference with her on the field was noticeable and close to immediate.

With Midge Purce out Dunn's opportunities to start on the frontline consistently opened up. She is one of the most dangerous attacking players in league history. If this team is going to turn their goalscoring woes around, then she must play a big part in it.

2. Juan Carlos Amorós
needs to play his best XI on a more consistent basis

Piggybacking off of point one, this team needs to start playing its best Starting XI more often. Yes, a big strength of this team is the depth, and rotation is designed to help keep this team fresh throughout a season that could see them play numerous matches. There needs to be more urgency though at times to capitalize and win games more consistently.

Obviously, injuries have played their part in dictating who can and can not play, but there have been instances where you feel Juan Carlos Amorós is maybe galaxy braining things a little too much. He did not start Jenna Nighswonger in the home opener. Dunn started on the bench this weekend. He has played Katie Stengel as a true winger when that does not suit her skillset. The Bats need to return to the basics and utilize more of what worked well last season.

3. Next week against Louisville is a must-win match

It might seem ridiculous to call game 5 of 26 a "must-win" but Gotham FC cannot afford to drop too many more points, especially given the stretch of games coming up. Despite Racing Louisville FC's solid start to the season, this should be a game that Gotham wins with little trouble given their superior talent and being back at home.

What follows this game against Louisville could be looked back on at the end of the season as a make-or-break stretch of games before the next international break.

They play the very impressive North Carolina Courage at home the following Saturday and then go on the road to face the Houston Dash in a mid-week battle. And while the Dash is not in the best of ways right now, playing on short rest with travel is never easy regardless of the opponent. They round out their first three-match week of the season with a Sunday matchup on the road against the San Diego Wave, a team that Gotham FC will most likely have to beat at some point if they want to repeat as champions.

This is followed by another winnable home game the next Sunday against the Chicago Red Stars, and then they have to fly cross-country for a Friday matchup against Bay FC who have seemingly exclusively played bonkers crapshoot games every time they've stepped on the pitch.

This stretch not only includes games Gotham FC should win as well as tough, testing patches that will give both fans and the coaching staff a really good idea of what this team is and what they are made of.