How’s It Going? Part 2 - An Assessment Of Louisville City’s 2022 Season-To-Date
Louisville City is now halfway through the USL regular season. A lot has happened since Part 1 and it’s time to take a step back and review how the season has panned out for Morados. To start, let’s review some of the topics of focus several weeks back in early May:
Formation vs Style of Play
Entering the season, it seemed like we could see a shift in the standard formation to one featuring a back three. As of this writing, that has yet to materialize. Its early usage had yet to fully pan out as expected and the 4-3-3 (or 4-2-3-1) has remained the go-to. With that said, how City plays at times can almost look like a back three. When LouCity is in control of a match and pressing hard, the outside backs (ex. Manny Perez and Amadou Dia) are given a bit more freedom to push forward into midfield attacking roles. It’s unlikely at this point we will see a full shift in the standard. However, I wouldn’t rule it out as a wildcard for Coach Danny Cruz to deploy.
Louisville City fans were quite proud of the depth of talent on the squad and as the season has progressed, we have had more opportunities to see the depth leverage. Between injury and international duty, we have seen several variations of the starting eleven. What is exciting is while there are a number of players one may peg as part of our “best” eleven, there is still plenty of room for debate. If fully healthy, we have an abundance of talent and starting-caliber players.
The numbers for 2022 have normalized a bit since Part 1, however this season is still looking fantastic. Still a clear case that this team “leveled up” this offseason. This season, LouCity has scored more goals per match, allowed fewer goals in, and has accumulated more points per match. The expected values are lesser than 2021 but the reality is more important. It will be interesting to see if these numbers relatively hold as the season continues.
Second Half Offensive Adjustments
LouCity has firmly become a second-half team. 60% of their goals have come in the second half. Less than 20% occur in the first 30’ of play. This squad methodically wears down the opposition and cashes out later in the match. It can make for stressful viewing when you are tied with the likes of Hartford at halftime, but by the time the 90’ of action is over, they have generally gotten the job done.
Late Goals No More
Happy to report the issue of concessions late into matches that plagued the 2021 team remains a non-issue for the 2022 edition of LouCity. In fact, only 15% of conceded goals (which have been relatively few), have occurred in the final 20’ of play. Can’t be too mad about that!
Matches of Interest
A few adjustments to this list since Part One:
Away on 07/16 and home on 09/23
Memphis has been quite the surprise this season. They are currently top of the East. These two matches will have big implications for the top of the table and subsequent playoff seedings.
El Paso Locomotive
Away on 07/30
El Paso currently sits 4th in the West with 29 points, just two shy of San Diego. Not only is this an unfamiliar foe, but LouCity will also have to get it done in their house. Certainly an interesting matchup.
Tamp Bay Rowdies
At home on 08/13
Well, they got the better of us in the first meeting of 2022. They have become quite the pain in our side. Let’s get that monkey off our back later this season with a big win.
Detroit City FC
Away on 08/20 and at home 10/05
Detroit has been a little better than expected this season as they could very likely end up in the playoffs. We got the better of them in the Open Cup, but it was a close one. Their fans are… shall we say “vocal” so there will be a good bit of fan incentive to beat them home and away.
Away on 08/31
Indy will always be on this list. It helps that the first meeting was suboptimal, so there is a point to prove in the next meeting.
Player Of The Year Contenders
Part One specifically highlighted Kyle Morton, Brian Ownby, and Wilson Harris with Morton narrowly edging out Ownby in a Twitter poll. Manny Perez and Josh Wynder were honorable mentions, but I’d include Amadou Dia in that group. At this point, I think the above names would be the top group, but there are good cases to be made for a number of players!
Despite a few dropped points and some substandard matches, this team is still going strong. If you look at the data below, LouCity is at or near the top in most categories. Plenty of reason to remain optimistic about this squad. There are some big matches left to be played and those could be the most telling of how the playoffs may go for this team. VAMOS MORADOS!
Be sure to check out my feature on Josh Wynder!
Want to do a little more reading on LouCity? I suggest the following:
Be sure to check out the Vamos Morados Podcast featuring me, Benton, and Zach Allen-Kelly. It’s available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcast, Audible, and Spotify. Everything you need to listen can be found on the Podcast page. Subscribe so you don’t miss an episode!