Gotham FC: 3 things we learned from the 1-0 win over Portland

  • Gotham FC beat Portland Thorns FC to open up the NWSL campaign
  • Here are three things we learned from the win
Gotham FC
Gotham FC / Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

In what was a rematch of the 2023 NWSL semifinals, NJ/NY Gotham FC dominated Portland Thorns FC again while also bouncing back from the Challenge Cup loss. They took the three points in a noisy Providence Park on Sunday. Despite missing key players, the Bats did not miss a beat as their defense was on point to seal their first clean sheet and win of the season.  

The 1-0 victory means they open the season undefeated during their title-defending year. The several offseason acquisitions played in handy as the team’s depth is bigger than ever. It is also good to mention that Spanish striker Esther González did a stellar job as a striker, while we also saw Crystal Dunn play in the wings for the injured Lynn Williams. 

Here are three things we learned from the match between Gotham FC and the Portland Thorns.     

3 things we learned from Gotham FC's win

1. The backline is a brick wall

If a player of the match is awarded to multiple players, then it would be the entire defense as they did a fantastic job shutting down the Portland attack. Their most dangerous player is Sophia Smith, who is coming off a Golden Boot season while also scoring a brace during their opener against the Kansas City Current. Gotham limited her to no goals on four shots (two on target), with VAR also overturning her goals due to the offside calls.  

Samantha Hiatt recorded a game-high 15 clearances while making three important recoveries. Tierna Davidson started alongside her at center-back and had a solid match, but Hiatt had an upstanding performance while putting less pressure off Cassie Miller, who also made six huge saves with 12 recoveries.

2. Esther González is still very good

González saved Gotham on Sunday with a goal in the 72nd minute to help give the Bats the win. She also had four shots on the day, but three were on target while also getting one in the back of the net. The striker played a unique role in trying to lead the attack without her usual partner Williams on her side.   

She clicked with Yazmeen Ryan, who created the chance and assisted by finding her in the box. González will only get better here as her Spanish national team is ranked number one in the world heading into the Olympic games in July.   

3. The bigger the depth, the better the team

As of now, Gotham has a total of nine players on the injured list, including Williams and Rose Lavelle. Dunn had to play as a winger, which she has not typically done in a while, while Emily Sonnett, Nealy Martin, and Delanie Sheehan started at center midfield. Even without Lavelle, they did extremely well.   

Gotham FC managed to adjust through high pressure and possession. Though, Ryan is likely to return to the starting midfield after a great effort off the bench, while Bruninha and Katie Stengel are also reliable options off the bench as well.