Expectations for the Gotham FC players during the Gold Cup

-What is expected from the Gotham FC players during the Gold Cup?

-Here is a look at what they should contribute to the USWNT

Tierna Davidson of Gotham FC and USWNT
Tierna Davidson of Gotham FC and USWNT / Robin Alam/ISI Photos/GettyImages

NJ/NY Gotham FC will be highly represented at the CONCACAF W Gold Cup, with a total of seven players making the trip to California with USWNT. This will also be good preparation for these players ahead of the NWSL season in March.  

What should we expect from the Bats during the Gold Cup when it begins on February 20? 

The Gotham FC expectations for the USWNT

Lynn Williams 

Lynn Williams ended the season on a high note with a goal during the NWSL finals against Seattle Reign FC. She is now preparing for an even better year, starting with the national team. She made 12 appearances in all competitions in 2023 for the USWNT, starting five while scoring three goals with an assist.  

Though Trinity Rodman and Sophia Smith are the clear favorites for the winger starting roles over her, Williams is expected to be a crucial bench role, with an occasional start in the event of any injuries in the attack.

Emily Sonnett 

Emily Sonnett joins Gotham FC this season as she works her way to a starting spot with the USWNT. Despite making just one start at the 2023 World Cup, she has improved recently and is looking to make her mark on the team.  

In 2023, the midfielder made seven starts in 14 appearances, recording a goal and two assists. With Samatha DeMelo left off the roster, she has a shot of taking the starting role alongside Lindsey Horan and Rose Lavelle for the tournament. 

Crystal Dunn 

The veteran Crystal Dunn is not holding back as she looks to retain her elite status in the game. She is returning to her hometown area in New York as one of the newest members of Gotham FC.

However, Dunn failed to get a goal contributor last year in 16 appearances with the USWNT, 14 of them coming as starts. However, she continues to be the favorite to start at left-back, with options to even play in the midfield depending on the formation interim manager Twila Kilgore plans to use.  

Midge Purce 

Midge Purce is looking for some personal redemption after an injury plague 2023 season left her off the running for a roster spot during the 2023 World Cup. However, after winning NWSL Finals MVP with Gotham, she has emerged as a favorite by many fans.  

In the case of the USWNT, Purce has yet to prove her dominance with the side, especially after starting just once in six appearances in 2023. This means she is set to spend more time on the bench, with Smith and Rodman the set favorites for the outside attacking midfield/wingers.  

Tierna Davidson 

After her World Cup snub, Tierna Davidson is back and looking to build up her profile in the national team. After she was the youngest player on the 2019 World Cup roster, she fell out of favor for a starting role, especially with the emergence of Naomi Girma and her partnership with Alana Cook. She was able to start two of the three matches played with the USWNT last year in all competitions but was out on the trip to Australia/New Zealand after not being on Vlatko Andonovski's plan for the tournament.  

Meanwhile, with Cook ruled out of the Gold Cup with a knee injury, her only competition will be with veteran and multi-World Cup winner Becky Sauerbrunn, which is very good news for her.  

Jenna Nighswonger 

The reigning NWSL Rookie of the Year, Jenna Nighswonger, will be getting another call to the USWNT, and this time to her first competitive tournament with the senior side. She made her debut against China in December, while also getting her first start as well. The question remains where she will fit on the pitch.  

Nighswonger recently transitioned from a winger to a left-back, and it looks like she will remain there. However, with the depth of the defense so packed, she could be a rotating role, depending on the formation Kilgore goes with ahead of the tournament.  

Rose Lavelle 

Just like Purce, Rose Lavelle is coming off an injury-plagued year that saw her time on the bench during the World Cup. She is also making the big move to the East Coast by leaving Seattle Reign FC for Gotham.  

Only she can make her off-year still seem good with two goals and four assists in eight appearances in all competitions for the USWNT in 2023. If she is back in full form, then Lavelle is expected to start in the midfield ahead of the tournament.