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NWSL Match Preview: NJ/NY Gotham FC (3-2-0) at Chicago Red Stars (1-3-1)

SeatGeek Stadium | Bridgeview, Illinois – Sunday, May 7 at 6:00 PM ET

Players to watch:

Chicago has had a whole host of goalscorers on the year thus far, with seven different players contributing to the scoresheet in their five games played. Only forward Penelope Hocking has scored more than once, and she did so when contributing a brace in a 4-2 win over Kansas City in mid-April. In goal, goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher has played well for Chicago but leads the league in goals conceded (13) and is one of just two goalkeepers to have played all five regular season matches and not have recorded a clean sheet (Angel City goalkeeper DiDi Haracic). 

Gotham forward Lynn Williams has attempted 24 shots this NWSL season, second only to Sophia Smith (28), including five against the Current on Sunday. Twelve of those 24 shots have hit the target, equaling the most any player managed for Gotham all of last year (I. Onumonu). Williams leads Gotham in scoring with three goals, with only fellow forward Midge Purce having scored on the season with both of her two goals coming from the penalty spot.

Match facts: The Chicago Red Stars host Gotham FC on Sunday in the first of two games across Sunday evening, with the Red Stars looking for their first win in three while Gotham is looking to bounce back after a 2-0 loss to Kansas City in its last time out. 

The Red Stars’ 1-1 draw with Washington on Saturday was their lowest scoring match of the season as Chicago has both scored and conceded in each of its first five games. The 23 combined goals (10 scored, 13 conceded) equal the most in a team’s first five games of a season in NWSL history (Reign – 2017). At home this year, Chicago has scored a total of six goals in three games, though it had a mixed bag of results in that stretch (W1 L1 D1). In addition, despite having the joint-most combined goals through the first five matches of a season, there have been only 117 total shots attempted in Red Stars matches this year (56 for, 61 against), third fewest in the league. The 19.7% conversion rate in Chicago’s matches is nearly six percent higher than any other team’s. 

On the other side, Gotham FC has collected nine points through the first five matches of the season for the second consecutive year (W3 L2 each season). Last season, however, Gotham collected just four total points in its final 17 games of the season (W1 D1 L15). This year, the club seems to be trending in a positive direction as, though it has lost twice in the league, it has remained unbeaten in the Challenge Cup (W1 D1) in addition to its three league wins. 

Chicago has won its last three against Gotham FC, including a 2021 playoff win, keeping clean sheets in all three wins. Chicago has kept seven clean sheet in its last 10 games against Gotham in the regular season and playoffs (W5 L3 D2), though Gotham won all three matches in which they scored in that time.

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