It is not known how many minutes Carli Lloyd would be able to play for Gotham FC Thursday night. (Photo courtesy of Gotham FC)
HARRISON, N.J. – It’s down to two final matches.
Win one and NJ/NY Gotham FC is in the National Women’s Soccer League playoffs.
Lose both or have a draw or two and the team’s fate will be up to other teams.
Unbeaten in seven games, Gotham FC will travel to Lynn Family Stadium for the first time to meet Racing Louisville FC Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET (Twitch). The team will aim to clinch a spot in the NWSL playoffs and extend its unbeaten streak to seven matches.
A win would see Gotham FC set a team record for most away points in one season (19 in 2014).
Gotham FC (8-5-9, 33 points) is in fifth place. A win for Gotham FC could boost the team to third place heading into the final weekend of the regular season. The top six teams will reach the postseason.
Forward Carli Lloyd, who played in her final and 316th match for the U.S. women’s national team in a 6-0 win over the Korea Republic Tuesday night, is expected to return to Gotham FC, although it was not known how many minutes she would be able to log.
Thursday’s game is the last in a four-game road campaign that kicked off with a 3-2 win at Orlando Oct. 9. Gotham FC then won 3-0 at North Carolina Oct. 17. Most recently, the New Jersey side played to a 1-1 draw at Kansas City Friday. Midge Purce opened the scoring in the 24th minute after beating three Kansas City defenders. K.C. equalized just before the half on a penalty kick.
An expansion team, Racing Louisville FC (5-12–5, 20) has hit some road bumps, including losing veteran attacker Nadia Nadim to an ACL injury in September. Most recently, Racing beat the Orlando Pride, 3-1, at home Oct. 16, with goals by Ebony Salmon, Katie McClure and Yuki Nagasato.
The Thursday match, originally scheduled to be played Oct. 1, is the second of three regular season matchups between NJ/NY and Louisville. On Aug. 15, Gotham FC rallied with a late equalizer from Ifeoma Onumonu after Nadim opened the scoring at Red Bull Arena. The 83rd minute goal salvaged a point.
Gotham FC will return home to RBA for the final regular season match vs. Louisville Sunday, Oct. 31 at 3 p.m.