Angel City draws with Gotham, 0-0

Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Angel City fail to seize an opportunity to climb the standings, but still come out with a point.

After the sixth place San Diego Wave lost to the Chicago Red Stars on Saturday, Angel City had a chance to move closer to a playoff spot on Sunday against NJ/NY Gotham FC.

However, Angel City failed to fully seize the opportunity, drawing with Gotham, 0-0. The draw keeps Angel City at 11th in the NWSL, but they are now six points off a playoff position. 

Despite the goalless scoreline, both teams had multiple scoring chances, keeping fans on the edge of their seats.

Midfielder Savannah McCaskill was the catalyst of multiple of Angel City’s build-upsas she made her 100th NWSL appearance; she played well-placed through balls to do so.

57 minutes into the game midfielder Allie Long stopped McCaskill’s cross, but she gave it away to forward Scarlett Camberos in the middle of the box. However, Ali Krieger blocked Camberos’ subsequent shot .

Later, McCaskill played a cross to forward Claire Emslie, who was open in the box but it missed over her head.

Midfielders Jun Endo and Emslie missed Angel City’s last few games with injuries. However, they returned to the game-day squad, entering 76 and 59 minutes into the game, respectively. 

Endo and Emslie sparked Angel City’s offense, helping them create activity in the final third down the stretch.

 “Good to get [Endo and Emslie] back on the field, get some minutes,” said head coach Becki Tweed. “They bought some energy, some excitement. We obviously struggled to keep the ball, and they brought some dynamic missing to the attacking third for us.” 

Defensively, Ali Riley left on international duty ahead of the 2023 World Cup, and Madison Hammond replaced her at right back. And as Angel City filled Riley’s shoes, they lost M.A. Vignola, who went down due to injury 13 minutes into the game. 

Defender Megan Reid entered the game for Vignola. However, she came on as a center back, and defender Paige Nielsen filled Vignola’s role at left back. Reid was stout and used her experience to help Angel City to a shutout.

“Megan [Reid is] a pro. We always prepare everybody for every moment. We never know what’s going to happen in a game. And if you’re if you’re ready at all moments, and you can step in and you can perform and that’s exactly what she did tonight,” Tweed said.

Goalkeeper DiDi Haračić also boosted their shutout efforts with three saves. Notably, In the first half’s stoppage time, she stopped a curling shot by forward Jenna Nighswonger. 

Haračić stayed on the field after the game to sign autographs for the Gotham fans.

“Anywhere I go I am always thankful and blessed to see how many fans I have… That always feels special,” Haračić said. “Gotham will always have a special place in my heart. My career started here.”

Tweed wants Angel City to be more effective in the final third to put away scoring opportunities moving forward. With eight NWSL games remaining, Angel City needs to capitalize most of their chances to make the playoffs.

“The opportunities that you’ve given you need to take ,and that’s ultimately what separates teams in this league,” Tweed said. “You can see it top to bottom one through 12, anyone can be anyone, and on your day, you have to be ruthless, and you have to take what you’re given.”

Next, Angel City plays the North Carolina Courage on Sunday, continuing their push to make up ground in the playoff race.