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Gotham FC home opener postponed due to COVID protocol

(Jesse Louie/JWS)

NJ/NY Gotham FC’s regular-season home opener Saturday against North Carolina is postponed due to COVID-19 protocols.

“While we are just as disappointed as our fans, we understand and respect the NWSL’s decision,” Gotham FC said in a statement.

According to the injury report the club released Friday, Gotham FC would have been without Caprice Dydasco, Ashlyn Harris, Ali Krieger and Midge Purce due to COVID-19 protocol. Paige Monahan and Sabrina Flores were listed as questionable due to right hip and right knee injuries, respectively.

North Carolina also would have had its fair share of COVID absences, with Tessa Boade, Katie Bowen, Abby Erceg, Carson Pickett, Briana Pinto, Katelyn Rowland and Havana Solaun all listed as out due to Covid protocol. Kerolin Ferraz, Emily Gray and Kiki Pickett were also ruled out due to injury, while Casey Murphy is questionable with a right knee injury.

The number of athletes sidelined due to COVID-19 protocol has been a point of concern for domestic leagues across the U.S.

WNBA players Natasha Cloud and Breanna Stewart have been vocal about that league’s travel policies, arguing that flying commercial has increased their risk of COVID-19 exposure as mask mandates fall away.

Cloud and Stewart have both missed key games due to WNBA health and safety protocols.

“Just want y’all to know we’re still flying comfort + even after the mask mandate has been lifted. So yes. On commercial flights, trying to have a Covid free season….while being surrounded by random people not wearing mask,” Cloud wrote on Twitter.

The NWSL announced a multi-year deal with Delta in March, making the airline the league’s official travel partner, with no charter component outlined in the partnership.

The nation appears to be amid another COVID-19 surge, as The New York Times reports new cases have increased threefold since the start of April. The average daily case count sits at 88,965, with experts believing that number to be low as infections go uncounted due to the popularization of at-home tests.

Information regarding the rescheduling of Gotham FC and North Carolina’s match will be available in the coming weeks.