Gotham FC vs San Diego Wave preview: The NWSL Challenge Cup is here

  • Gotham FC and the San Diego Wave will kick off the 2024 season with the NWSL Challenge Cup
  • Here is a preview of the fixture
Gotham FC
Gotham FC / Ray Acevedo-USA TODAY Sports

Before one can blink, the NWSL Challenge Cup between NJ/NY Gotham FC and the San Diego Wave will be starting.  This marks the official kickoff for the 2024 season.  The NWSL Champion and NWSL Shield winners will face off in a one-game final for the bragging rights of who is the better side.

Notably, the Wave beat the Bats in both regular season games in 2023.  Fans will remember the fixture in California, for it led to multiple injuries for the club, including Abby Smith.  

However, it is a new year, and Gotham is still riding the wave of winning the 2023 NWSL Championship.  There are also plenty of USWNT team stars that should make the roster stronger and more competitive.  Hence, the Challenge Cup will give everyone an opportunity to see what the squad is made of.  It will be a challenging way to start the season, but it should also be a fantastic match.

Who will start for Gotham FC?  Will the team beat San Diego?  Here is a preview of the NWSL Challenge Cup.


Gotham FC and the San Diego Wave will play one another on Friday, March 15.


The game is at 8:00 PM ET.


The fixture will occur at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ. 

How to watch

Supporters can catch the match on Prime Video via Amazon Prime.


The weather will be okay around kickoff.  It will be around 56 degrees with mostly cloudy skies. The threat of rain is not entirely gone.

Injury report

TBD.  Check back later once Gotham FC announces the injury report.

As of now, McCall Zerboni (knee) and Abby Smith (lower leg) are expected to be out since they are on the season-ending injury list at this time. The club has not revealed their return timetables.

Update: Kristen Edmonds (knee), Sinead Farrelly (thigh), Rose Lavelle (lower leg), Taylor Smith (thigh), and Lynn Williams (thigh) are all out for the NWSL Challenge Cup as well. Smith is officially on the season-ending injury list. Plus, Svava Guðmundsdóttir has an excused absence.

Players to watch

Gotham FC supporters should watch Crystal Dunn.  This will be the New York native’s first match with her hometown team, so it will be interesting to see how she will do under the hometown pressure.  In addition, her versatility means she can play anywhere.  It will be intriguing to see where she plays and whether she makes a difference right away.

On San Diego, fans should watch Jaedyn Shaw.  The 19-year-old is on fire thanks to her incredible performances during the W Gold Cup with the USWNT.  Supporters should expect that to carry over into the Challenge Cup.


There are high expectations going into the 2024 season.  However, Gotham FC and the San Diego Wave are both extremely talented.  That is why the prediction is that the two teams will be tied at the end of regulation 2-2.  They will go into a penalty kick shootout, and Gotham FC will come out on top.