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Match Preview: NJ/NY Gotham FC Travel to Portland Thorns for First 2024 NWSL Regular Season Match

By Gotham FC Communications, 03/22/24, 9:00AM EDT


HARRISON, NJ (Thursday, March 21, 2024) – In the club’s first match of the 2024 regular season, NJ/NY Gotham FC will travel to take on the Portland Thorns on Sunday, March 24 at Providence Park (7 p.m. ET, ESPN 2). Gotham FC will return to Providence Park for the first time since taking down the Thorns in extra time of the 2023 NWSL Playoff semi-finals.

Most recently, Gotham FC kicked off 2024 in the standalone, single-match NWSL UKG Challenge Cup on March 15, when the club narrowly lost 1-0 to San Diego Wave FC on an 88th minute Alex Morgan goal. Despite the result, the club is looking to bounce back with a strong start this week in its first regular season match.  

Among the Gotham FC leaders, forward Crystal Dunn will be making her first return to Portland since departing the team at the end of last season. Last season with Thorns, she led Portland to a second-place finish in regular season standings after starting 17 of her 19 regular-season appearances, recording 1,311 minutes, scoring five goals, and adding two assists. Most recently, on Friday, the forward made her Gotham FC debut in the UKG NWSL Challenge Cup.

While this is Gotham FC’s first match of the season, this will be Portland’s second regular-season match. On March 15, Portland lost 5-4 to the Kansas City Current. In the match, Thorns forwards Janine Beckie and Sophia Smith each recorded a brace to help trim down the Current’s lead.

Key Notes to Watch For

  • This will be Crystal Dunn's first time back to Providence Park since joining Gotham FC. Dunn starred for the Thorns from 2021-23. She led Portland to a 2022 NWSL Championship title.
  • Prior to joining Portland in 2021, Dunn scored six goals against Portland in the regular season. She also recorded four assists against Portland, which is the second best in league history.