Louisville City’s 2022 Storylines
As of this writing, we are less than TWO WEEKS from the start of the regular season! I can hardly contain my excitement. I’m not only thrilled about the return of live soccer to Lynn Family Stadium, but I am incredibly optimistic about how the team has come together this offseason. There have been a number of fantastic additions to the squad and Coach Danny Cruz has had a full offseason to imprint his style of play on the players. There are many storylines heading into this 2022 season. Below are the ones that I will be most closely watching.
In recent memory, Louisville City has been fairly consistent with their usage of a 4-3-3. While it has largely been a winning formula, tactical variation could really be a difference-maker in getting the upper hand over your opponent. Coach Cruz has previously expressed a fondness over back three formations. With a full offseason in charge, one can expect that will be something the team has been working on behind closed doors. With the evolving composition nature of the roster, this has seemed more and more inevitable (check out a few prior speculations here). While I’m told the majority of the friendlies thus far have not featured a back three, the most recent matchup against the Riverhound saw the team line up in a 3-4-3. How often will we see this and who will make the starting eleven for these matches are to be seen. However, it will be exciting to watch how the team takes to this style of play.
New Kids On The Block
There are quite a few new faces, many of which are young! I don’t need to rehash my thoughts on injecting youth into this team, but to keep it short, I’m quite pleased. They come with varying backgrounds, but all of them are signings that raise the bar. All feel like they could win starting jobs. This competition will keep all players hungry and give 110% to make the starting lineup. I’m eager to see how these new guys blend in with the existing squad and who can win over the fans with their dominance on the pitch.
One of the unfortunate downsides of last season was letting in goals late in halves. Getting scored on sucks, but it stings just a bit more when the ref is just about to blow his whistle. I hate to bring up painful memories, but we can’t ignore that’s what ended our season. The team is well aware of this and we can only hope we do not see it repeated this season. Cross your fingers that issue has been sorted out this offseason!
COVID is still most certainly a thing, but it’s become manageable enough that the normal conference alignment has been restored. No more bubbles or divisions. We are back to one home and one away with each Eastern Conference opponent, as well as a few cross-conference opportunities. We will get to see some new teams including El Paso Locomotive FC (Away 7/30), Detroit City FC (Away 8/20, Home 10/05), and Sacramento Republic FC (Home 09/03). A welcome change back to the setup of the past.
Last season, LouCity was great, and Indy was trash. However, City failed to retain their LIPAFC crown. It was disappointing to give that tiny consolidation prize to Indy’s otherwise forgettable season. Their campaign was marred with misfortune, but 2022 could be different. They’ve got a new man at the helm and a revamped roster. With the schedule back to one home and one away, each of these matches will count. Let’s get some authoritative wins and bring the LIPAFC title home!
US Open Cup
If you almost forgot the Cup was a thing, you’re not alone. It disappeared for a while and some, myself included, were not exactly confident it would come back. Thankfully, I was wrong and LouCity will have a shot at some more hardware and unique matchups. First up is the Chattanooga Red Wolves from USL League One. How far Morados is anyone’s guess, but I’ve got my fingers crossed for a good showing.
What are you most looking forward to during the 2022 season? Let me know on Twitter at @PurpleSDF! I’ve got a poll up on predicting where LouCity will finish and it’s currently skewed VERY positively. I hope you all are right!
Want to do a little more reading on LouCity? Might I suggest The Tifos of Louisville City, The Louisville City Youth Movement, Louisville City’s Pathway To The Pros, Louisville City's Preparations For The Future, What Are Expected Goals (xG)?, or What Are Goals Added (G+)?.
Have a friend just getting into LouCity soccer? Be sure to send them the Introduction To Louisville City link to give them a point of reference to learn about the club and league.
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!