With another match day this weekend, Gotham FC faces many challenges this Sunday but down the road. 

Yes, there’s been improvement in the entire squad, but more considerable challenges still loom as this team tries to break out of the “decent” mode and move more into the “elite” level of the NWSL.

What challenges loom this weekend for Gotham FC?

Gotham FC hits the road this weekend to the Pacific Northwest to face OL Reign in a battle between the -second and third-place teams in the NWSL.  Let’s face it, OL Reign is packed with talent, from Megan Rapinoe’s record of 13 goals against Gotham FC in her career to the one-two offensive punch of Bethany Balcer and Jess Fishlock.

While both squads have identical records at 4-2-1 and 13 total points, OL Reign has been dominant at home this season with a 3-0-0 record on their home pitch.  OL Reign stands out as one of the “elite” teams in the NWSL, and their prowess at home only lends credence to their top-flight status as one of the best teams in professional women’s soccer.

Where does Gotham FC stand right now?

As the 2023 season has settled in with seven matches already in the books, Gotham FC has consistently moved up the NWSL table and has an identical record as OL Reign.  Goalkeeper Abby Smith is now the top netminder in the entire league with an 83.% save percentage against shots on goal (26/31.)

Just as OL Reign has their “dynamic duo” of Balcer and Fishlock, Gotham FC has their version of an offensive firepower duo in Lynn Williams and Midge Purce.  Between Williams and Purce, they’ve provided roughly 85% of the goals scored this season (Williams-4, Purce-2), and this tandem is critical to Gotham FC’s success.

HARRISON, NJ – JUNE 19: NJ/NY Gotham FC forward Margaret Purce (23) during the second half of the NWSL soccer game between NJ/NY Gotham FC and San Diego Wave FC on June 19, 2022, at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

If there is one equalizer this weekend between OL Reign and Gotham FC, it’s the fact that OL Reign currently is unbeaten at home while Gotham FC has a 3-1-0 record on the road, which is the best in the NWSL.  Strangely enough, Gotham FC has won three of their four matches this season on the road, which makes them more formidable this weekend as the best home team meets the best road team.

If anything, this match may be more of a foreshadowing of future playoff matches down the road as both OL Reign and Gotham FC try to separate themselves from the rest of the NWSL table.

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