Washington Spirit and NJ / NY Gotham FC had to settle for a scoreless draw tonight at Subaru Park. However, despite the implications of playoff play, much of the attention was naturally focused on the math around the NWSL regarding abusive situations at multiple clubs.
A day after the players asked owner Steve Baldwin to sell his share of the club to Y. Michele Kang, the two teams – including the benches – opted to reunite in midfield in the 7th minute. The NWSL Players’ Association Twitter account tweeted this statement at the same time calling for further investigations into the abuse and fouls at every club in the league:
Early trades were remarkably even, with Spirit defusing threats as Gotham tried to play behind while Washington couldn’t quite unlock Gotham’s backline with possession. Ashley Sanchez watched closely from the start but couldn’t quite shape a shot after being selected seven yards from goal. Sam Staab made a critical 24th-minute tackle to deny Carli Lloyd – whose career was honored that night, with the game played as close to his home in southern New Jersey as possible – what otherwise would have been a breakaway from midfielder.
Gotham got the first real shot of the game in the 29th minute after a high pressing forced a gift into Spirit’s box, but Margaret Purce’s shot was challenged and ended up going straight to Aubrey Bledsoe.
Purce approached with a 53rd minute effort that crossed the bar, while Ashley Hatch took advantage of a sleepy Gotham defending himself on a 55th throw-in, only so that his angled shot never came in all the way. done in the lower corner.
However, after that open trade to start the half-time, play fell back to a familiar rhythm. The match’s next chance of any kind saw Bledsoe doing very well to deny Lloyd from inside the six-yard penalty area in the 78th minute after a phone call fell in a dangerous spot . Sheridan had an equally brave play in the 86th, claiming the inviting cross from substitute Tegan McGrady from left before Anna Heilferty, another substitute, could push him home.
A third substitute, Tara McKeown, saw Sheridan tilt her shot close to the post in the 87th minute, then directed a 90th-minute header into Sheridan’s arms after Julia Roddar took her out from the left. Washington was clearly chasing the win, Kelley O’Hara forcing Sheridan to make another save moments later, and McKeown and Kumi Yokoyama failed to turn shots from 19 yards into a winning goal.
Despite the flurry of late chances, however, the Spirit couldn’t find a winner. The draw kept Gotham one point behind them, with the Spirit (7V-6D-7D, 27 points) remaining in 6th place. However, they could still drop playoff spots if Houston wins in Portland later tonight.
Highlights will be added when they become available.
The score of the box
NWSL Regular season – Game 20
NJ / NY Gotham FC 0
Spirit of Washington 0
Gotham (433): Kailen Sheridan; Caprice Dydasco, Gina Lewandowski, Estelle Johnson, Imani Dorsey; McCall Zerboni (center), Allie Long, Carli Lloyd; Margaret Purce (Brianna Pinto 89), Ifeoma Onumonu (Évelyne Viens 77), Paige Monaghan (Nahomi Kawasumi 46)
Spirit (4312): Aubrey Bledsoe; Paige Nielsen (Julia Roddar 65), Emily Sonnett, Sam Staab, Kelley O’Hara; Tori Huster (Tegan McGrady 65), Andi Sullivan (C), Dorian Bailey; Ashley Sanchez (Kumi Yokoyama 88); Trinity Rodman (Tara McKeown 82), Ashley Hatch (Anna Heilferty 82)
Gotham – Long 79
Spirit – Sullivan 77