When Gotham FC moved into first place in the NWSL after dismantling OL Reign on the road last Sunday, they set themselves up for a top-of-the-table clash when they travel down I-95 to play Washington Spirit at Audi Field on Sunday, May 28 at 5 pm ET.
Right now, just one point separates the two teams.
That game will be televised on Parmount+.
Gotham are in first place with five wins after eight games and 16 points, while Washington are in fourth place with four wins after eight games and 15 points. Most strikingly, their goals scored and allowed are identical: Gotham and Washington both have netted just 11 goals, well behind the 22 goals of league-leading Portland Thorns, but have allowed just seven, which tie them for the lowest in the NWSL.
Both Gotham is coming off their most significant win of the season. Last Sunday, Gotham treated OL Reign like a lower-league team, comprehensively outplaying one of the best teams in the NWSL on their home (plastic) turf and outscoring them 1-4. Gotham’s defense completely shut down the Reign, allowing only a single consolation goal late in the game.
Nobody saw the blowout coming. Gotham and OL Reign were even with 13 points going into that game, with both trailing only first-place San Diego Wave SC. But once the whistle sounded, Gotham dominated every aspect of the match.
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Gotham FC at Washington Spirit game preview
This sets up Sunday’s clash between the Goths and Washington to be an – ahem – spirited one.
Neither side give up goals easily. Gotham have three clean sheets in eight league games, and have never allowed more than two goals this season. Similarly, Washington have three clean sheets in eight games, and have never allowed more than two goals.
Neither side score much. Gotham’s four-goal display against OL Reign accounts for more than one-third of the goals scored all season. Gotham have lost only twice, but both of those were 2-0 clean sheets on the road. Washington’s only loss was handed to them last week by a mid-table Orlando Pride that held them to just one goal.
But both sides have a proven goal-scorer. Gotham’s Lynn Williams has been lighting up the scoreboard this year, and is the NWSL’s joint-leader with five goals in eight appearances. Another joint-leader? Washington’s Ashely Hatch, who also has five goals in eight appearances.
Will this be a chess match between two of the stingiest defenses in the NWSL? Or will two of the best strikers in the league keep finding the back of the net?
This is a game that long-suffering fans of the Goths won’t want to miss, and one that the Gotham-curious among us should consider watching.