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Match Recap: Gotham FC draws Kansas City Current 1-1 in First Home Match of 2024 NWSL Season

By Gotham FC Communications, 04/14/24, 10:45PM EDT


HARRISON, NJ (Sunday, April 14, 2024) - NJ/NY Gotham FC finished in a 1-1 tie against the Kansas City Current on Sunday night at Red Bull Arena. On the night of celebration, the club commemorated winning the 2023 NWSL championship with a pre-game banner unveiling and a post-game ring ceremony.

Early in the match, Gotham FC goalkeeper Cassie Miller, who was acquired in the offseason from the Current, made a point-blank kick save to deny an early opportunity from Current midfielder Temwa Chawinga in the eighth minute.

However, Temwa Chawinga scored the game’s opening goal on her next opportunity in the 17th minute.

The chances for Gotham FC soon ensued. Forward Katie Stengel nearly found the equalizer in the 23rd minute. Stengel took an initial shot that was saved by Kansas City goalkeeper AD Franch. The rebound landed back at Stengel’s feet, and she fired another shot that went over the crossbar.

At the end of the first half, Gotham FC had controlled 53% of possession and had completed 40 more passes than the Current (177-129 passes).

The home team came out of the break with an unrelenting energy. Just three minutes into the second half, Gotham FC’s Crystal Dunn nearly leveled the scoreline in the 48th minute after gaining possession in the box and shooting for the far post. However, Current goalkeeper Franch again came up with a save.

Gotham FC quickly earned another chance on the next possession. Following a pinpoint cross into the box delivered by defender Jenna Nighswonger, Stengel flicked a header over Franch, but it hit off the crossbar and away from goal.

Gotham FC eventually broke through in the 52nd minute, when midfielder Yazmeen Ryan stepped up to take a corner kick. Ryan drove the ball across the box towards an open Esther (Spain), who headed it back across the goal and into the far side netting.

The evenly matched second half featured back-and-forth chances for both sides, and after six minutes of stoppage time, the match ended in a 1-1 draw.

Gotham FC outpaced Kansas City in several offensive stats, including controlling ball possession (60%), leading goal attempts (14-10), shots on goal (5-4), completed passes (366-205), and crosses completed (23-10).

Gotham FC will visit the Washington Spirit at Audi Field in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, April 20 (12 p.m. ET; CBS).

  • Crystal Dunn made her 150th NWSL appearance in all competitions (regular season, playoffs, Challenge Cup, Fall Series), the 48th player in league history to reach that plateau.
  • Esther scored her second goal of the 2024 regular season and fourth NWSL regular season goal in eight career regular season matches.
  • Both of Esther’s goals this season have been assisted by Yazmeen Ryan, who dished out her eighth career regular season assist.
  • Katie Stengel took four shots (excluding blocks), one short of her career high.
  • Taryn Torres made her first home appearance since September 21, 2022.
  • Lynn Wiliams made her 2024 debut as a second-half substitute.
  • Gotham FC held Kansas City to 77 completed passes in the second half, the Current’s third-lowest total for a regular-season half.

Head Coach Juan Carlos Amorós
On the game…
I think playing our first home game was very important for us. It has been a long time. The fans were amazing. I think we started the game a little bit slow, but we grew into it. At the end of the first half, we spoke about how we have to be better in the second half and be ourselves. In the second half, I think we showed who we are. I was very pleased. I think the players were amazing.
On the challenging start to the season…
Obviously every team in this league is very dangerous…I am very happy with this three-week challenge and what we have done. And not forgetting obviously the game against San Diego, a very, very good team. I am very happy with the performance, especially the limited time we have had with the whole group to work...I am very very pleased with how these days have gone.
Crystal Dunn
On the crowd at Red Bull Arena erupting when she entered the field…
Oh, my gosh, what a home game to step into. It was wild and crazy, just like the NWSL always is. But no, I felt very welcomed. I felt like I heard the energy in the atmosphere. You know, in a massive uproar. And it was amazing.”
On the adjustments made at half-time…
Stay more connected. Be closer to players to be able to connect on the ball. But then, obviously defensively, when the ball turns over, if you're connected and close to players, you're able to win back the ball a little bit earlier and easier. So I think we did a better job of that in the second half. And honestly, it's early in the season, I think, for me, I've played this game long enough to know that sometimes the start of a season does not really give the full picture of what you know is soon to blossom into. And I think it's really cool to be a part of this program and be able to see the growth of all the players, and to get to know so many different players and to share the field with amazing talented players.
Gotham FC vs. Kansas City Current
April 14th, 2024 – Red Bull Arena (Harrison, NJ)
Goals by Half             1          2          F
Gotham FC                  0          1          1
Kansas City Current    1          0          1
Scoring Summary:
Kansas City Current: Chawinga (17’)
Gotham FC: Esther (51’)
Misconduct Summary:
Yellow Cards
Gotham FC: Nealy Martin (34’)
Kansas City Current: Claire Lavogez (71’)
NJ/NY: GK Cassie Miller, D Bruninha, D Tierna Davidson, D Sam Hiatt (46’ Crystal Dunn),  D Maitane Lopez, M Delanie Sheehan (59’ Lynn Williams),  M Emily Sonnett, M Nealy Martin (46’ Jenna Nighswonger), F Katie Stengel (90+3’ Taryn Torres), F Yazmeen Ryan, F Esther Gonzalez
KC: GK AD Franch, D Izzy Rodriguez (67’ Hailie Mace), D Gabrielle Robinson, D Elizabeth Ball, D Ellie Wheeler, M Bayley Feist, M Claire Hutton, M Vanessa DiBernardo (66’ Claire Lavogez), F Temwa Chawinga (86’ Alex Pfeiffer), F Alexa Spaanstra (66’ Michelle Cooper), F Bia Zaneratto