Welcome to the 2023 NWSL Championship Finals, which has upstart Gotham FC trying to beat the odds one more time when they face a star-studded OL Reign at Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego: Here is your Gotham vs OL Reign Game Day Hub.
Game Day Essentials
- NWSL Championship Final: Gotham FC vs OL Reign
- Date and Time: Saturday, November 11, 8 pm ET
- Venue: Providence Park
- Forecast: A clear, crisp, perfectly pleasant Left Coast evening, 65˚F/19˚C
- Watch: CBS Sports Network
- Officiating Crew: Ekaterina Koroleva (referee), Jennifer Garner and Katarzyna Wasiak (assistant referees), Anya Voigt (fourth official), Kevin Broadley (VAR), Maggie Short (assistant VAR), Tiffini Turpin (reserve assistant referee)
Gotham vs OL Reign preview
This title match will also be the final game for Gotham defender Ali Krieger and Reign attacker Megan Rapinoe. The two legends are hanging up their cleats after decades of playing professionally (Krieger made her debut in 2005, Rapinoe in 2009), and earning a combined 311 caps for the United States Women’s National Team.
The 39-year-old Krieger has been instrumental to Gotham’s run of form in the NWSL postseason, making one key play after another and bringing experience to the backline. She’s a big reason why backup goalkeeper Mandy Haught is putting up career-best performances between the sticks.
The 38-year-old Rapinoe hasn’t found the back of the net this postseason, but she scored twice for the Reign on Decision Day. Kreiger and the rest of the Gotham defense will be tested by an attack that features Rapinoe (4 goals, 5 assists in the regular season), Veronica Latsko (4 goals, 2 assists), and Jordyn Huitema (5 goals).
On the other end of the field, Gotham will need to hope that their attacking trio of Esther Gonzalez, Lynn Williams, and Midge Purce find the back of the net for the first time in the postseason.
The high-profile forwards came up empty in their last two games, but their runs create space for other goal-scoring opportunities, and the team have done enough to a two shutout wins in a row. First there was the 0-2 victory in North Carolina, then the 0-1 win in Portland.
Either way, a new champion will be crowned tonight, and either the Goths or the Reign will win the NWSL title for the first time in the history of their clubs.
Gotham vs OL Reign H2H
The Reign dominate the historical head-to-head between these two teams with 10 wins out of 22 games played, but the goals scored have been more even.
Gotham won their most recent matchup, a 1-4 demolition of the Reign at Lumen Field in Seattle back in May. The Reign won the game before that, when they beat Gotham 0-2 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison.
- Player Availability: Gotham continue to be without goalkeeper Abby Smith, defender Taylor Smith, midfielder Taryn Torres, and midfielder McCall Zerboni. Defender Imani Dorsey is out with an excused absence. Midfielders Kristie Mewis and Yasmeen Ryan are questionable.
- Squad availability remains essentially unchanged from last week, when Gotham closed down the Portland Thorns to win 0-1 after extra time.
- Gotham’s attacking trio of Esther Gonzalez, Lynn Williams, and Midge Purce once again failed to score against Portland last week. Will one of them find the back of the net in the most important game in Gotham history?
- What was a questionable defense is now setting a new standard in the NWSL Playoffs: Gotham have yet to allow a single goal in postseason play.
- Gotham have, in fact, won the title for the Top Tier of women’s professional soccer: Back in 2009, Sky Blue FC won the Women’s Professional Soccer league. The WPS had seven teams that year. Sky Blue finished in fourth place, but advanced to the title game and beat the Los Angeles Sol.
- Player Availability: The Reign have no injuries or suspensions. The entire squad is available.
- Rose Lavelle will likely be in the Starting XI. Last weekend, the midfielder earned her first start since September 3, and she provided the game-winning assist.
- The Reign’s defense is just as difficult to break as that of the Goths: Both teams allowed just 24 goals in the 22-game regular season, and both have yet to concede in the playoffs.
- This is the Reign’s third appearance in the NWSL Championship Final. They were the runner-up in 2014 and 2015. What’s that chestnut about always a bridesmaid, never a bride?
- Learn more about the Reign in Oppo Research: 5 Things about OL Reign.