Ifeoma Onumonu has been a key player for Gotham FC this season. (Photo courtesy of Gotham FC)
HARRISON, N.J – NJ/NY Gotham FC has two goals entering its Sunday road contest at the Orlando Pride.
One is to score more goals and the other is to hand the host side its first defeat of the National Women’s Soccer League season.
Gotham FC (2-1-1, 7 points), which has tallied only twice this season, meets the first-place Pride (3-0-2, 11) at Exploria Stadium at 6 p.m. ET. The will be streamed on Paramount+ (U.S.) and Twitch (international).
“We are looking forward to getting back on the field after the international break,” Gotham FC head coach Freya Coombe said. “Orlando has been getting good results and it will be a good challenge to play them, especially away in their climate. They are threatening with direct play & their forwards have had a great start to the season.
“Our defense has been fantastic so far this season and have only conceded one goal so that will be a good match up. For us to be successful we will need to continue to have solid possession of the ball, but also look to create and convert our chances in the attacking third.”
Gotham FC earned a 1-0 victory over OL Reign right before the international break at Red Bull Arena in a physical and tactical battle in which both teams combined for 33 shots. Ifeoma Onumonu scored the lone goal in the 13th minute from Gotham FC’s first corner kick. Caprice Dydasco took the corner, sending the ball to the far back post and finding the head of Onumonu. Dydasco finished with an 87.5 percent passing accuracy, the highest number of completed passes and crosses (52) and the most key passes (4).
On the other end of the field, Erica Skroski’s defensive effort helped Gotham FC close out the game, which earned her player of the match. Skroski recorded a passing accuracy of 89.4 percent, made four clearances and forced six interceptions. Any ball that managed to get past the organized defensive line was handled by goalkeeper DiDi Haracic, who made her first appearance of the regular season.
The Pride recorded a 1-1 draw against the Washington Spirit in its last match to keep their unbeaten streak alive. The Pride went down in the 64th minute after Kelley O’Hara found Ashley Hatch for a header in the penalty area. Minutes later, Taylor Kornieck equalized on a low strike to the far post just beyond the reach of keeper Aubrey Bledsode.
The last time these two teams met was back on April 14 in the opening match of the 2021 Challenge Cup, in which Gotham FC earned a 1-0 victory at Exploria Stadium. The lone goal scorer was Paige Monaghan, who tallied in the 79th minute. Onumonu put a low-driven ball in the penalty area that Monaghan taped in.