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  • Writer's pictureBenton

Match Recap – Birmingham Legion vs Louisville City – 06/29/2024

Photo Credit: Ken Shepherd

Great teams find a way to respond to adversity. Conceding five goals to an expansion club was very uncharacteristic of this Louisville City squad. The first meeting with the Birmingham Legion was a statement win, however, given the team’s lack of dominant wins on the road, this one was less than certain. Thankfully, they turned their match in Alabama into a statement of its own, showing that RI loss was nothing more than a bump in the road. “I think after what happened at home with the response, the amount of goals and how we scored them today was very important for us,” Sam Gleadle commented after the 4-1 road win.

 

The first half saw no goals to the second half’s five. However, it was still a good showing from the boys in purple. They looked sharp and hungry but did struggle to create. The second half saw them take things to another level. “Coming in at halftime we had a really good discussion — obviously went through a few things tactically, and I thought the players were absolutely brilliant in the second half,” Coach Danny Cruz stated. Under Coach Cruz, LouCity has largely been a second-half team. Not happy with the first 45? Odds are you’ll get a better showing in the following 45. His tactical adjustments and team talks are seemingly effective. “Every phase of it, for me, was quality. They have a lot to be proud of.”

 

 

It is one thing to score four goals, but it's another when those goals come from four different players. The fact goals can come from anywhere is just one of many reasons this team is so hard to take on. It’s the best attacking group I’ve been part of,” Gleadle mentioned. After the first broke through, the team was rabid for more. Excluding a mistake that cost them a clean sheet, their defense was great as well.

 

 

In hindsight, Louisville City putting on an outing like that after a gut punch of a loss is not all that surprising. That is who they are. They are a squad that knows how to win and when they don’t, they learn from their mistakes and turn their attention to the next match. Talent only gets you so far. Having that kind of laser focus propels you to a whole different level. And Coach Cruz still believes there are greater heights this team can achieve. “I still believe we have another level we can hit,” Coach Cruz said, “and I want our entire group feeling that way, because the minute you get complacent is the minute you get hit in the mouth… It’s been a good first 17 games. We have things to be proud of, but things aren’t won 17 games in.”

 


In case it has not clicked for you yet, this team is special. Very special. You’d have to really nitpick to find something to complain about with their performances. And we have by way of their away record. The narrative had been they were not winning big enough on the road. If that is our biggest issue (one they directly addressed in this one), we are in fantastic shape. I’ve sung the praises of the 2022 squad but this group is on a trajectory to surpass them. No easy feat. Here is to hoping they lift a couple of trophies before this is all said and done. In the meantime, make sure you stay tuned in so you do not miss a moment of this potentially historic campaign.

Parting Thoughts

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