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  • Writer's pictureBenton

Beach Night

Louisville City has been an undeniably successful club since their first season back in 2015. Over the years, the club has racked up many notable wins, but even clubs as successful as LouCity eventually incur painful losses that stick with fans. Most that come to mind are likely in the playoffs where the dream of winning it all dies. However, the one that has gained the most infamy had no trophy on the line. It wasn’t even in the playoffs. It is instantly recognizable with just two simple words: Beach Night.


By August of the club’s first season, things were looking great. The Orlando City affiliate boasted a record 11-3-5 (W-L-D) after a 3-2 win over Toronto FC 2 (check out Jeff Milby’s writing on that one). That win marked their 6th straight win with the last three having been on the road. The following match, an 8/5/2015 encounter with a struggling FC Montreal (4-12-3), was set to be Morados’ return home to Slugger Field. FC Poutine did win three of their last five heading into the match, as noted by Taylor Sorrels’ prematch writing, but Louisville still appeared to be the notable favorites. Between the team’s win streak, the opposition’s poor season, and the beach night theme promoted by the club, things had party all over it.


Photo Credit: @DowntownLouFan

 

Images that precede unfortunate events. Photo Credit: Louisville City

The Coopers embraced the theme by bringing beach balls, passing out leis, and creating two tifos. One tifo featured a purple shark bearing LouCity’s crest and a scared Montreal swimmer trying to avoid getting eaten with both appearing to swim around the stadium as they were passed along. The pictures make it look like a good time for the 6,836 in attendance, but the match that transpired on the pitch told a different story. The visiting Canadians had scored three times by 22’ and added insult to injury with one more at 88’. Coach James O’Connor called out the lack of intensity in the first half, saying that they were “a shadow of themselves”. Taylor’s recap of the match noted that the boys in purple took a staggering 28 shots with no goals to show for it and Jeff called the loss “the most disappointing yet in Louisville City's young history.” The team got the message and rebounded with a 5-1 win over Harrisburg City Islanders but the damage was done.

 


Mood. Photo Credit: Louisville City

Prior to Beach Night, Louisville City had only lost three times with only one being at home. That loss was 2-0 in favor of NY Red Bull 2, who were good at the time despite the generally accurate perception of MLS2 teams not being the strongest opposition. Giving up four goals was a new record for the team. The club did not allow four goals scored again until a 4-4 draw against the Charleston Battery in June of 2017. Almost a full two years at or near the top of the list of bad losses for fans. Given the expectations heading into the match with the club on a six-game win streak and the opponent fluttering firmly outside the playoff picture, it only gave fans more of a reason for it to be cemented in their memory for all the wrong reasons. Superstition and sports go together hand in hand and the Beach Night theme became the scapegoat. With the first Beach Night since 2015 slated to happen this season, it will be interesting to see if it sheds the negative associations or provides further evidence of a curse surrounding it.

 

 

Parting Thoughts

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