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  • Writer's pictureBenton

Match Recap – Louisville City vs Birmingham Legion – 03/30/2024

Photo Credit: Connor Cunningham

The wins at El Paso and at home against Pittsburgh have inspired confidence in the Lynn Family faithful, but the looming question is if the strong start can be maintained. Louisville City was looking to solidify their status as a top contender this season with a positive result over the Birmingham Legion. The Legion has not had the best start, however; they did get the better of LouCity last season in one of the team’s less inspiring performances. The boys in purple have not managed a three-game win streak since October 2022. The stars were aligned for the squad to make a statement.

 

 


 




 

 

 

 

Full-Time Thoughts

Photo Credit: Connor Cunningham
Photo Credit: Chris Humphrey

Have you seen any of these men? They are wanted for questioning in connection to the murder of the Birmingham Legion. The first two performances, as well as BHM’s mediocre start, were reason for optimism heading into the match, but guessing they would win 5-0 would have felt too much like wishful thinking. It was the most goals scored by the club since the demolition of NYRB2 in July 2022. Newcomers Jake Morris and Taylor DaVila got their first goals in purple while Wilson Harris and Ray Serrano added to their tally. With 18 shots, 3 big chances, and an xG of 2.83, there was a lot to be happy about in this match. There was even a blatant handball that should have added even more to the already high statistics.

 


Photo Credit: EM Dash

Although the possession split was even, Louisville City was largely in control. The Legion were not completely helpless, despite what the scoreline says. There were moments when BHM’s attack made many in attendance nervous. Despite their lack of goals, they did accumulate a 1.97 xG, which matches my eye test. They had a few good opportunities, but thankfully Louisville has Damian Las in the net. In each of his three matches, he has been good for at least one huge save. The defense helps to reduce his workload, but his value cannot be understated. “We got a shutout, which the players know is important to me,” Coach Danny Cruz said after the Birmingham beat down. “It’s not just about the goals.” It’s not impossible that he will not be in the GKOTY conversation because of the team in front of him. However, from a pure quality perspective, he deserves to be at or near the top of the list. Don’t let Morados’ attack overshadow his contributions (as well as those of the back line).

Photo Credit: Connor Cunningham

Louisville City’s early matches have shown that this team currently has some traits that were absent last season. First is consistency. Three matches and three wins. That’s more than the 2023 squad can boast. The second is hunger. The 2023 team certainly demonstrated it at times. But it was not frequent enough. I’ve not doubted effort or desire once in the 270 minutes of LouCity football we have seen this season. “We have a group that wants to get better and a group that’s together,” Harris said of City’s start. “That’s the most important thing. We’re pushing each other in training — Wednesdays, when we scrimmage — and I think we just make each other better.” Wilson is arguably one of the more hungry players. He was mad about the 2023 season and not hitting his 50th goal then. He is channeling it well. The new additions have seemed to fit in perfectly with Coach Cruz’s tactical and mental vision of the squad. There are nuances you can pick at, but by and large, this team is largely what we have expected. Let's hope they keep it up.

Photo Credit: Chris Humphrey

Also, a shoutout to Hayden Stamps for making his debut! Yet another positive from the day. He will never forget that one!

 


Photo Credit: Connor Cunningham

Parting Thoughts

 

 

 

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