clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Gotham FC Preseason Notebook

A roundup of club friendlies, coaching staff additions, and international call-ups

Teamwork makes the dream work.
Photograph courtesy Gotham FC

Preseason is well underway for Gotham FC, and the club is taking shape both on and off the field. The team still has plenty of time to find their footing ahead of the season opener against Angel City FC on Sunday, March 26 at 9 pm ET in Los Angeles.

Florida friendlies

The Goths have played two of their three scheduled warmup matches at IMG Arena in Bradenton, Florida, rotating the squad heavily to varying results.

Gotham fell 2-0 to Orlando Pride on February 18 in its first test since the 2022 NWSL regular season concluded in October. Every available player on the team’s preseason roster saw minutes in the 2-0 loss that saw Erika Tymrak and Julie Doyle score for Orlando.

With another week of training and perhaps a more favorable opponent, head coach Juan Carlos Amorós’ side enjoyed a 4-0 win over Florida State University.

That performance saw four different players find the back of the net, including non-roster invitee Sinead Farrelly. She was found through a perfectly lofted pass from McCall Zerboni, leaving Farrelly to take a touch before quickly poking the ball past the oncoming goalkeeper.

Midge Purce followed, returning from SheBelieves Cup duty with the US Women’s National Team with a sharp left-footed finish into the bottom corner. The Goths’ third goal came through a turnover Svava Rós Guðmundsdóttir forced deep into the Seminoles’ half. The 27-year-old Guðmundsdóttir quickly found Victoria Pickett, who calmly slotted the ball away.

Taylor Smith completed the afternoon’s scoring by finishing off Nealy Martin’s long-range effort that fired off the crossbar.

“I think our target was to keep a clean sheet on both [halves] and making sure that we win both, and it happened,” said Amorós after the game. “We work a lot in making sure that everyone knows their role when we get into the final zone. I’m very, very pleased for everyone that obviously found the back of the net, but they were able to do it because of the work out of the back.”

“Those goals – they always have a name. But for me, they have the whole team behind them today.”

Gotham finish its preseason in Florida with a friendly against the Chicago Red Stars on Thursday, March 2.

Coaching staff changes

Amorós fleshed out his coaching staff with a handful of faces familiar to him ahead of his first season in charge of Gotham.

The head coach’s trio of assistants includes Shaun Harris and Ak Lakhani, who worked alongside him at Tottenham. They’re joined by former USWNT player Jen Lalor, who’ll also be heavily involved in the club’s player development pipeline.

Jesús Botello Hermosa joins as Head of Tactical Analysis, and Adrián Benítez Jiménez as Strength and Conditioning Coach. Both were at Real Betis when Amorós was the head coach of that squad.

Brody Sams continues with the club as goalkeeping coach, while Philip Congleton saw a promotion from High Performance Coach to Head of Sports Science.

“It says a lot from the club because normally as coaches we are like I used to say long, long fighters that go to a club and need to get to know everyone,” noted the 38-year-old Amorós. “So in this case I’ve been able to add to the fantastic group of staff that we’ve had already here.”

International Report

The middle of February was a busy time for international play and Gotham FC were well-represented worldwide. The USWNT called up called Kristie Mewis, Midge Purce, and Lynn Williams for the SheBelieves Cup, while Bruninha represented Brazil in the tournament. Ifeoma Onumonu featured for Nigeria in the Revelations Cup, while goalkeeper Hensley Handcuff, currently on loan at Brisbane Roar, was called up to the U-23 USWNT.

Mewis featured prominently with the USWNT, and played the most amongst the Gotham trio in the cup-winning effort. The 32-year-old started in midfield and played the entire game in the 2-0 win over Japan, and made substitute appearances against Canada and Brazil. Lynn Williams also started against Japan, playing 65 minutes at right-wing. She replaced Trinity Rodman in both of the team’s opening and closing games for a total of 40 minutes.

The goalscoring form of Mallory Swanson kept Midge Purce from seeing much playing time. Still, Purce earned her 23rd international cap with an 88th-minute substitute appearance against Canada.

Bruninha made a solid impact for a Brazilian side that finished third in this year’s SheBelieves Cup. The 20-year-old played the full 90 in Brazil’s opening 1-0 win over Japan. After sitting out in the loss to Canada, Bruninha contributed off the bench against her American teammates.

At the top corner of the 18-yard box, Bruninha quickly made her own space before floating a pinpoint pass to Ludmila. The ball sent in forced awkward reactions from the American goalkeeper and backline, leaving the Brazilian forward an opening to score with her head.

Elsewhere, Onumonu led the line for Nigeria in all three of its Revelations Cup matches. The Super Falcons finished third, behind Mexico and Columbia and ahead of Costa Rica. Svava Rós Guðmundsdóttir earned a spot on Iceland’s roster for the 2023 Pinatar Cup in Spain, however the recent signing elected to remain with Gotham for preseason training

Handcuff was a part of the U.S. U23 USWNT that faced off against their French counterparts in Clairefontaine. She kept a clean sheet in two halves of two matches, helping the U23 team to a 2-0 win and a 1-1 draw.