Match Recap – Louisville City vs Detroit City – 04/08/2023
Losses against El Paso and Sacramento left a bad taste in everyone’s mouths, but a midweek Open Cup win over Lexington Sporting Club provided a nice boost in confidence before the next league match. Detroit City were heading to Lynn Family Stadium and it would serve as Louisville City’s first Eastern Conference matchup of the season. Was this to be a turning point after two shameful league matches, or would there be more points dropped at home?
Between the travel and midweek match, there had been a number of faces that had made the starting eleven in the past few matches. This match features Wilson Harris getting his first start of the year along with Brian Ownby and Jorge Gonzalez up top. The midfield was composed of captain Paolo DelPiccolo, Rasmus Thellufsen, and Tyler Gibson. Amadou Dia and Manny Perez were the outside backs with Sean Totsch and Josh Wynder holding down the center of the back line. Oliver Semmle was in between the sticks, beating out Kyle Morton after a rough start to the year.
Early action in this match as LouCity had their foot on the gas. At 5’, a Louisville counter found Ownby in possession one-on-one with the keeper but was unable to get it past one of the league’s best keepers. DET had a counter of their own at 11’ but Josh did well to force the attacker to shoot at an awkward angle and the ball rolled harmlessly out-of-bounds past the far post. Six minutes later, Harris avoided a defender who went to the ground, allowing him a one-on-one of his own. Unfortunately, his shot went wide of the near post. Another very close call for the home team less than 20 minutes into the match. At 21’, Jorge used some fancy ball work on defenders on the box, creating a shooting opportunity. The shot was on target, but it deflected off the goalie. Jorge again at 27’ with a drive into the box, however, this time he sent it across the net to Ownby whose header is just off target. DET was weathering a storm for much of the first half. To close the half, there was one more chance. At 42’, PDP took a corner and Totsch headed it goalbound, but the keeper managed to tip it away.
The second half was more of the same, but DET was doing a bit better limiting opportunities. The longer things went on without a goal, the more the thought crept to mind of this ending as a frustrating 0-0. Thellufsen sent an aerial cross into the box at 69’ that Jorge headed on target, but again the keeper was there to deny the home team their goal. Jorge and Ownby’s match ended at 74’ when Matiti Mushaglausa and Dylan Mares entered the match for them. Not long after, Morados broke through. At 80’, a Louisville corner was recycled back out. It was sent back into the box by Mares and Wilson Harris put a light touch on it to redirect it past the keeper for the goal they had been searching for all match.
Elijah Wynder came into the match for Harris at 88’ to help see out the 1-0 win.
By The Numbers
Even including the wins over OC and MB, shots on target have been an area in which the team had been underperforming. Tallying seven against DET was a great way to bump that average back up. Unfortunately, the goal count did not align with their offensive production. The boys in purple accumulated 20 total shots with seven big chances and an xG of 3.02 but only had a lone goal late in the match. Conversion of chances is still an area of opportunity, but I’ll take the progress shown in this match over nothing. Defensively, Morados held DET to just 42% possession, with only nine total shots, none of which were on target. The opposition passes at an abysmal 66%. Aside from arguably lacking with their clinicality, it was a much-improved performance from what we have seen this season.
Player Of The Match
Jorge Gonzalez may not have scored, but he was an attacking problem for DET all match long. He rifled off four total shots (three on target) along with four created chances and three passes into the final third. There were many positive performances in this match, but he was one of the primary catalysts for the offensive onslaught.
“As a group, collectively we were playing really well together,” Wilson Harris said after the match. “I think defensively it showed in the midweek game. But I think just getting more repetitions as a group, we’ll hopefully start scoring three or four.” Coach Danny Cruz echoed Harris’ praise of the team, calling it “a complete performance for the group.” He continued by acknowledging that “where we need to do better is in the final third.” Ultimately, he was pleased with the team’s outing. “All in all, I want the players to enjoy this win. That is the standard, and we need to make sure that no complacency sets in.”
Consecutive league losses happen, but it was how the team had been losing. It was too soon to be alarmed for the team’s season as a whole and Coach Cruz and his staff-maintained faith in their team. Thankfully, they were able to secure an Open Cup win as well as this big Eastern Conference win to help move on from ELP and SAC. Detroit isn’t the league’s strongest team, so the boys in purple will need to make sure they continue this improved trajectory they now find themselves on. Use the momentum from this win to begin to string together results and remind the league why they are feared year over year. The next match is a huge one, so I hope they are ready!
Want to do a little more reading on LouCity? I suggest the following:
Meet Elijah Wynder: Louisville City FC’s Trailblazing Young Star
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!
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