Just a few weeks ago, NJ/NY Gotham FC was in a battle for first place in the NWSL. To remain in the fight, they had to win their final three matches or have the results around them go in their favor.
Unfortunately, Gotham's results were not in their favor. They lost to the Houston Dash at home and the Portland Thorns on the road. The main factor was the inability to capitalize on goal-scoring chances.
Gotham FC must win on Sunday to make the playoffs
On Sunday, Gotham FC will face the Kansas City Current in the final regular season game of the season. They have to win to secure a place in the playoffs. The race is extremely tight and there are four spots left. The San Diego Wave and Thorns have secured their places in the postseason.
At this time, third through ninth place are separated by only three points. The North Carolina Courage, Gotham, and the Washington Spirit have 30 points and sit in third, fourth, and fifth place, respectively.
If the Bats do not win, and three of the teams in fifth through eighth place earn all three points, then they will be eliminated and not go through to the postseason. Hence, losing is not an option. They cannot rely on the results of the other NWSL sides, and nor should they. The team must control their destiny.
In addition, the playoffs are on the line, but it will also be Ali Krieger's last NWSL game in the regular season. The 39-year-old is retiring, so Gotham will want to help her celebrate by grabbing all three points from the Current.
The pressure on Sunday will be high. The Bats did not need to be in this position. Nonetheless, they are fighting to play at least one more game. NJ/NY Gotham FC must be victorious.