Match Recap – Loudoun United vs Louisville City – 04/10/2022
Coming off a win in the US Open Cup, Louisville City was off to Virginia for an interesting matchup against Loudoun United. The DC United affiliate has historically not been a great team, however, they have had a solid start to their 2022 campaign. Despite their improved quality, it appeared to be LouCity’s match to lose.
The starting eleven for Coach Danny Cruz’s 4-3-3 appears to be stabilizing. We are starting to see reoccurring selections for these rosters. One point of interest is the return of Tyler Gibson, who hadn’t been featured since the match away against NYRB2. Loudoun, meanwhile, came out in a back three formation. A setup that appears to be a staple of this iteration of DC Jr.
Louisville City wasted no time in this match finding their way onto the scoreboard. At 4’, Brain Ownby flicked a loose ball over to Jorge Gonzalez, who quickly got by the Loudoun defender marking him. Wilson Harris made the run with him down the center and received the carefully placed cross from Jorge. From there, Wilson made it look easy and calmly put the ball into the net after shaking his defender.
After the explosive start, both teams settled into the match. Loudoun was able to steady the ship, but LouCity was still finding shots. At 24’, Ownby turned on the jets and shot past a defender to take a quick strike off a bouncing ball, but the tough shot flew wide of the net. Loudoun nearly found a scoring opportunity of their own at 30’ when a leading pass snuck between the Louisville center back nearly led to a wide-open shooting opportunity at the top of the box. Manny Perez swooped in right before a shot could be registered to dislodge the ball from Loudoun’s possession. City kept the pressure on and allowed few opportunities for Loudoun, but a second goal was not in the cards for the first half. The visitors entered the locker room with a narrow 1-0 lead.
The second half began with some early pressure from Loudoun, but it didn’t take long for LouCity to retake the driver’s seat controlling the match. Their possession was parlayed into a goal at 52’. Ownby made a well-timed run to sneak behind the backline off a long, lobbed pass. The keeper had come off his line, so Ownby chipped it over him for Louisville’s second of the night.
Following the goal, Amadou Dia was subbed out after appearing to have some discomfort with his leg and Sean Totsch entered the match in his place. Wes Charpie flexed out wide into Dia’s spot and Totsch lined up as a center back next to Josh Wynder. Loudoun, looking to claw their way back into the match, secured the ball in City’s final third at 59’ and made a run into the box, and took a dangerously close shot that ended up wide of the net. Only a minute later, Ownby nearly earned a brace, but his quick shot after sneaking past the backline flew over the crossbar. At 67’, Jorge exited the match and Ray Serrano entered the fray. Ray was looking to join in on the fun at 79’ when he hit a hard shot goal bound that was deflected out by the Loudoun keeper. Coach Danny Cruz made his final subs at 84’ when Matiti Mushagalusa and Niall McCabe came on for Ownby and Corben Bone. They helped the team to see out the 2-0 win on the road.
By The Numbers
Louisville City dominated in most statistical categories that matter. They had 13 shots (five on-target) and created four big chances to Loudoun’s two shots (one on-target) and zero big chances. Loudoun was held to an xG of 0.09! Although Loudoun led in possession, nearly 2/3rds of their passes were in their own half, showing they were not getting much done with that time on the ball. It’s hard to find any redeeming qualities from the match for the home team.
Player Of The Match
Corben Bone is often an unsung hero of the squad and this match was a perfect example of that. You will often find him at the start of many of LouCity’s positive sequences. Several times throughout the match, his pressing resulted in turnovers in City’s favor. He may not always get the goals and assists, but he is frequently a big part of where the goals are coming from. An indirect influencer. With a player rating of 8.0 and a match-leading three key passes, Bone deserves the POTM honors in this one. Honorable mention to Brian Ownby, who had a phenomenal match as well. Never a bad problem to have multiple players who could easily be awarded POTM honors.
On the road in suboptimal conditions, Louisville City made the competition look like amateurs. It wasn’t the world’s prettiest match, but it was a decisive win for Morados. “I’m really, really proud of the mentality and fight,” said Coach Danny Cruz. “This is a tough opponent in a tough environment. It’s pretty windy, and the turf didn’t play as well as we’d hoped. So all in all, when you look at the result — when you look at the fight from the group and desire to press — you put yourself in a position to have success in these games on the road when you have that at a minimum.” From front to back, everyone contributed to the win. The offense was dangerous, and the defense was a brick wall. They made it quite a boring experience for Kyle Morton. Louisville is on a seven-game unbeaten run across all competitions which marks the club’s longest streak to start a campaign, eclipsing the title-winning 2018 season’s first six games. Coach Cruz has this team firing on all cylinders. “I’m obviously happy about the start we’ve had so far, but we talk all the time about the importance of taking it week back week,” Coach Cruz said. “If we want to achieve the goals we’ve set, these performances on the road in tough environments are something that has to continue to happen. There’s a strong belief in the group right now. The culture that is set at this club — you can tell the new players are integrated and completely bought in — and for us, that’s what it’s about.” There was a lot of hype surrounding this club with how the offseason panned out, and they have currently lived up to the hype. Even the tactics-man, John Morrissey, is impressed. “Louisville’s press is just disgustingly good. They push their fullbacks crazily high up the pitch (by the way, how good are Dia and Perez?) to deny wide outlets, have DelPiccolo and Bone push up behind the Gonzalez-Harris-Ownby corps, and subsequently refuse to let you through. This is some full-on Gandalf shit.” Although it’s still early, it is hard to think that this team won’t make a deep playoff run. If Coach Cruz can keep them grounded and getting results, they will enter almost every match as the favorite. What a time to be a LouCity fan!
Make sure you check out the recap of LouCity's first Open Cup match this season against the Chattanooga Red Wolves on TheCup.us!
The 2022 Coopers Kit is now available! Jump on this offer before the end of April!
For 2022, the LouCityLadies have partnered with the Louisville Coopers to create an all inclusive one of a kind Pride scarf. Proceeds will go to the Purple Family Prideraiser June charity (TBD). This is a pre-order and scarves will ship before first Racing game in June.
Want to do a little more reading on LouCity? Might I suggest The Tifos of Louisville City, 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!