Following a confidence-boosting multi-goal win over Miami, Louisville City was set to take on FC Tulsa. Prior to the match, Tulsa found themselves outside of playoff contention with only a 32% chance of making the postseason (per FiveThirtyEight). To complicate their situation further, they had just agreed to a trade with Memphis 901, sending Rodrigo Da Costa packing in favor of Phillip Goodrum. Goodrum’s lack of familiarity with his new teammates could play into LouCity’s favor, but it could also pose a unique challenge to play again with their new look. The points were split last time these two met, but Louisville would be looking to secure all three this time around in Lynn Family Stadium.
Manny Perez, who was out injured last match, was back in the fold for this match, along with Tyler Gibson. Wes Charpie earned another start with Josh Wynder, still out with the USMNT-U20s and Jordan Scarlett, still slowly returning from injury. Scarlett, however, did feature on the bench.
29’ – Gonzalez
By The Numbers
There is a lot not to love about blowing a lead in the final 10 minutes but doing so with 2.42 expected goals (xG) for and 0.86 xG against makes it that much worse. The missed opportunities, especially in the first half, stung. LouCity took 11 shots (four on target) to Tulsa’s two shots (one on target) in the first half. While the boys in purple did find the lead in that half, it wasn’t enough to shut the visitors out of the match. Louisville’s four big chances created with three “missed’ is the story of this match.
Player Of The Match
Jorge Gonzalez has had some injury troubles recently and some bad luck that goes as far back as last season, but during his time on the pitch, he showed what is possible when things are clicking for him. Along with his goal, he created a big chance. He missed another scoring opportunity, but to his credit, he was the only one to score in purple. Here is to hoping he can stay healthy and find the scoresheet again soon.
In some unfortunate bit of irony, Coach Danny Cruz had called the first 30 minutes of the last encounter with Tulsa, his team’s “poorest of the season.” While the first thirty of this latest match was LouCity favored, he might put the last 30 minutes up the list for this season. “In the first half, we held them to two shots in 45 minutes,” Coach Cruz said. “In this sport, that’s hard to do. Second half, we came out flat. I thought we started to fatigue and missed a couple of big chances. You continue to keep an opponent in a game and things like that can happen.” Defender Sean Totsch echoed Coach Cruz’s frustrations. “You have to take your chances,” said Totsch. “If you leave any team in it, they’re going to get something. It’ll bounce their way, or a call goes their way and they get that momentum. Keeping that game at 1-0 when we should have been up 2 or 3-0, a lot of guys will say that they should have finished chances.”
Louisville City did not capitalize on their early dominance and allowed Tulsa to remain in the game. The visitor’s chances were limited, but they made the most of them. Losing late hurts, but it hurts worse when you know there was an opportunity to get a multigoal lead and demoralize the opposition. Misses like Jorge’s early in the second half and Cameron Lancaster’s late both jump to mind as particularly egregious. Wilson Harris and Brian Ownby won’t score every match and this team needs to be able to produce regular goals from other sources.
Scoring has been a reoccurring issue this season. Creation of chances has been as well, but the opportunities were there this time. There is a good bit of data in How’s It Going? Part 1 for the team’s 2023 season before the last match. The improved xG situation in LOUvTUL is technically a step forward, but it feels really bad considering what could have and should have been.
Losing to Tulsa at home was certainly a missed opportunity considering the games in hand but all things considered, the team is in a great spot. 43% chance to secure 1st overall with a 29% chance to make the finals and a 15% chance to win it all, per FiveThirtyEight. Still very much in title contention, but misses like this make the job that much harder. Every point count. On to the next one in hopes that the squad can get a streak together and get a few multigoal games under their belt.
Want to do a little more reading on LouCity? I suggest the following: