We’ve reached that magical time of the NWSL where not much is actually going on in the NWSL for the next month. The 2023 Women’s World Cup is in full swing Down Under, and the only NWSL action going on currently is some matches for the 2023 Challenge Cup.
Don’t get me wrong; this is the way things should be with over 60 NWSL players currently on World Cup squads.
Let the league continue its play, albeit in an extra-benefit tournament that won’t affect the overall NWSL playoff standings. I look forward to continually watching the World Cup and seeing what happens over the coming weeks with the Challenge Cup.
For now, the season has reached a hiatus of sorts, and it’s time to take stock and look at a Gotham FC Progress Report.
Where does Gotham FC stand right now in the NWSL?
What a difference a year makes. Last season, Gotham FC was the cellar dweller in the NWSL and could only muster four total wins the entire season. Currently, Gotham FC sits in a solid third place in this league with a 7-4-4 record and actually only one point behind the league-leading North Carolina Courage.
At home, Gotham FC has played to a steady 3-2-2 record, but incidentally, this squad is tougher on the road with a better 4-2-2 record. If Gotham FC can keep pace with its record before the World Cup slowdown and pick things up after the international tournament, it’s pretty reasonable to believe that they will make the NWSL playoffs this season.
Does Gotham FC have a shot at the 2023 Challenge Cup?
The Challenge Cup presents itself as an additional opportunity to not only win another piece of valued silverware for an NWSL squad but a chance to earn supplemental winnings from the tournament. As women’s sports still lag behind men’s professional leagues in terms of pay equity, the Challenge Cup presents itself as a significant step in the right direction to allow NWSL players to earn extra income for their tournament performances.
Gotham FC stands with a 1-0-1 record in the East Division of the Challenge Cup standings, and with matches beginning this weekend, they will have an opportunity to move up in those standings as well. Again, Gotham FC sits right behind the division-leading North Carolina Courage in the tournament standings, so there is motivation to catch up before this tournament concludes.
Gotham FC has some great standout players this season.
All you have to do is look at the USWNT and other international representations from Gotham FC and know that this squad is loaded with top soccer talent this season. Goalkeeper Abby Smith is one of the elite netminders in the NWSL this season, and with a 77.2% save percentage and four clean sheets this season so far, it’s not a far stretch to understand why Gotham FC has been a force in the NWSL in 2023.
If Gotham FC is looking to nominate a player for Rookie of the Year honors, they don’t need to look further than Jenna Nighswonger. The versatile defender has found her way more into the attack as the season has progressed and has taken 13 shots with eight on target and scored two goals this season for the Gotham FC campaign.
One of the most potent weapons Gotham FC has developed this season is a sound attacking third, with the duo of Midge Purce and Lynn Williams leading the way. Purce has two goals, and Williams has a team-leading seven goals for their side this season (and is currently on duty with the USWNT, where she has 15 goals in international competition).
If the Purce-Williams combination can rekindle their fire after the World Cup slowdown, then Gotham FC looks to make a solid playoff run this season.