High expectations remain for Gotham FC in the NWSL x LIGA MX Femenil Summer Cup

  • Gotham FC will play in the NWSL x LIGA MX Femenil Summer Cup
  • The team still has high expectations with seven missing players due to the Olympics
Gotham FC
Gotham FC / Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

After beating Angel City FC over the weekend before the Olympic break, NJ/NY Gotham FC headed into the Olympic break in fourth place in the NWSL standings. The team ensured they did not go into the regular season pause on a three-match winless streak, which was a threat after their tough loss to the Washington Spirit and the disappointing draw against Seattle Reign FC.

Now, seven players will be gone for a good portion of the summer since they will be at the Summer Olympics. Ann-Katrin Berger will be with Germany, while five Gotham FC players made the 18-women USWNT roster: Tierna Davidson, Crystal Dunn, Rose Lavelle, Jenna Nighswonger, and Emily Sonnett. In addition, Lynn Williams will be with the squad as an alternate.

Thankfully, nobody will miss an NWSL match due to the Olympic break. However, there will be games played. Gotham will play in the newest tournament, the NWSL x LIGA MX Femenil Summer Cup. Three fixtures will be played in the group round from July 20 through August 2. They will have to win their group and be in the top four points-wise to move on to the knockout rounds. Then, the ladies will play a friendly against Chelsea F.C. Women.

High expectations continue for Gotham FC

In other words, this allows other players to step up and try to earn more playing time. Sam Hiatt should start at center-back in all three games. Maitane López might step back into the backline to partner with her. Moreover, the right-back battle will likely continue with Bruninha, Maycee Bell, and Mandy Freeman. Other players who should receive more minutes include Kristen Edmonds and Cassie Miller, who was the starting keeper before Berger's arrival.

At the same time, Gotham FC still has high expectations for the summer cup. The squad might be without many stars, but that does not mean they cannot compete. The Bats have so many talented players still available like Ella Stevens. The forward leads the team with five goals, tied with Lavelle. She also has three assists.

Winning the group round will be difficult since Gotham will play the Washington Spirit. Thus far, the D.C. based team is the only one that scored more than one goal against the powerful defense. They beat the NJ/NY team 2-0 in both regular season fixtures. Hence, it is preferred that they ladies finish in the top of their group.

However, if Washington continues to get the better of Gotham FC, then it is vital for the team to win the other two games. It would be nice to win the friendly against Chelsea as well. Nevertheless, it is easily possible that the Bats will not move on in the cup. That does not mean high expectations go away. Instead, they stay, regardless of who is playing for the team.