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  • Writer's pictureMichaela Alfano

A World Champion and A Win: Gotham Shows Out In 2-0 Win

Whenever Gotham FC and the Washington Spirit take the pitch, it is bound to be an eventful game. This one had it all, including a 2-0 Gotham win at home to break their three-game winless streak and also extend their seven-game unbeaten home streak.

Esther González in her home debut for Gotham FC on Saturday, September 16, 2023 in Harrison, NJ, at Red Bull Arena | Photo Credit to @NWSL Twitter

The much-needed three points have sent Gotham to third in the standings, just one spot away from an automatic semi-final bid. However, there is still so much that can shake up with the remaining three games of the season.

In front of a crowd of 6,202 Gotham put on a show. 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup champion Esther González made her home debut which was met with cheers from the electric crowd. Yazmeen Ryan put on a show, taking shots from insane angles. Jenna Nighswonger made the right side a force to reckon with as she raced up and down the flank. There is something to be said about every Gotham player on the pitch as they battled for a hard-fought win.

"You know, we can learn from her, she can learn from us and the blending of cultures. The best teams I've been on have had a blend of cultures," said Lynn Williams

The battle between Rodman and Nighswonger was an exciting show the entire game. Sometimes Nighswonger was able to slip the ball clean and other times not so much. A rough play on Rodman, led to the Rookie of the Year contender receiving a yellow card early in the match. However, that didn't stop her as she continued to apply pressure and work her magic on the field. She even attempted a shot from 15 yards out, in classic fashion. And, Rodman received her own yellow later in the match to even their playing field.

Gotham controlled much of the first half, leading in possession, shots, and corners but when it came to the final third, they struggled to finish. And while they were able to get many interceptions to keep the ball in their control, their defensive efforts did struggle a little bit with easy giveaways and failed tackles that allowed the Spirit to sneak in for some chances.

The chances continued into the second half where Gotham showed out. Esther González was the star of the match scoring a brace in less than six minutes to make a mark in her first home match. After scoring her first goal there was commotion over whether or not it had been flagged offside. Pending a rather short VAR review, the goal was granted and the stadium was electric.

And, since one wasn't enough the next one came in a similar style with a clean assist from none other than Lynn Williams.

After the match, Williams shared that since she and González don't speak the same language they have had to create other ways to communicate. More specifically, their eyes and eyebrows and that's exactly how the goal lined up. An open Esther in the box, a look from Lynn, and a goal with ease to put Gotham up by two.

Gotham has an incredibly talented both on and off the field. The team has welcomed Esther with open arms, even going as far as to begin to learn Spanish so they can communicate with her.

"Soccer is a global language," said Head Coach Juan Carlos Amorós, a sentiment that was repeated by Lynn Williams and Esther González in the post-game media.

And that is exactly what we saw in the matchup between these two teams. Communication with a simple flick of a ball and elated celebration after a well-deserved win.


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