Match Recap – Louisville City vs FC Tulsa – 08/14/2021
A little past the halfway point of the season, Louisville City is sitting pretty. Coming off a dominating win over Sporting KC 2, City is first in the division and essentially a lock for the playoffs (according to FiveThirtyEight). On Saturday, FC Tulsa made their first trip to Lynn Family Stadium. LouCity was unbeaten in six and looking to make it seven with a win/draw over Tulsa. Confidence in Louisville is high and nothing less than a win would be satisfactory.
Louisville City Lineup
Despite some sporadic variation in playing formation throughout the season, it appears that the 4-3-3 has become the go-to once again. Parker Siegfried earned another start between the sticks, with Jonathan Gomez, Sean Totsch, Wes Charpie, and Pat McMahon (now shaved and rocking short hair) holding down the backline. Paolo Del Piccolo, Tyler Gibson, and Niall McCabe severed as the midfield presence while Cameron Lancaster, Brian Ownby, and Jorge Gonzalez spearheaded the attack. Notable omissions to the eighteen include Alexis Souahy and Corben Bone. Coach Danny Cruz continues to leverage the squad’s depth and provide time to a wide variety of players. The ability to maintain match fitness as we approach the end of the season is crucial for a potentially deep playoff run.
It only took LouCity seven minutes to flex their offensive prowess and nearly find the net. A back pass was sent to a Tulsa defender. Ownby sensed an opportunity and pounced on the defender with his back turned, dislodging the ball. He used his speed to make it to the loose ball and send in a cross to PDP at the near post. Paolo’s karate kick of the ball hit off the post. Thankfully, Louisville’s first goal came only three minutes later. McCabe sent a lofting cross to Cam, who immediately sent the ball goal-bound. A scrambling defender tried to get his leg in front of the shot however, it resulted in a ricochet that went by the keeper. Not the prettiest goal, but they all count the same! 1-0 Louisville off Cam’s 61st in the USL.
While City continued to exert their dominance over the match, the first half failed to produce any additional noteworthy moments. The visitors, an offensive-centric team, were suffocated and failed to produce any threatening moments.
Unsatisfied with a 1-0 scoreline, Morados came out in the second half and picked right back up where they left off. Observers of the match could tell there were more goals in this matchup and that came true at 65’. A LouCity corner kick resulted in a chaotic scramble in the box. It was headed by two City players, chested down by another, before Cam found the ball and kicked it through the crowd into the goal. "I don’t think you could teach being in the right place at the right time," McCabe said of Lancaster. "It’s just an instinct. He kind of just smells out opportunities, and thankfully he’s on our side and long may he continue and keep scoring."
A few minutes later, TUL had their best shot on goal. A freekick taken just outside the box was hammered in a clipped the crossbar. A few inches lower and it would have been an incredible goal. Despite Parker being in the right spot, it would have been a tough save. Kyle Greig and Napo Matsoso came in for Cam and PDP at 74’ followed by Antoine Hoppenot and Jimmy McLaughlin for Ownby and Jorge at 82’ and Josh Wynder for Wes Charpie at 90’. Continuing an unfortunate pattern that LouCity fans have witnessed this season, the opposition found a goal in the dying minutes of the match. A freekick taken from near the corner of the pitch was headed in past Parker at the near post. “It’s a late goal again. Unacceptable.” Coach Cruz said after the match. “Spoke to the guys individually and collectively we know that, and we know as we keep progressing here toward the end of the season, we know it’s gonna be important that we make sure that these mistakes and these late goals fix.” "I think it's just little mental errors here and there," said Ownby. "We had a very good game. I think they only had really one chance...If we can just fix those little errors where the ball's going out of bounds and we don't need to make fouls, that will help us in the long run."
By The Numbers
While possession was more even than it usually is, total shots and chances were very much in LouCity’s favor. City kept the keeper busy accumulating an xG of 2.19 to Tulsa’s 0.92. Tulsa is an attack-minded team, and it was likely that they would score. However, it was the fact it came so late that made it sting. City is now at only one clean sheet in the past eleven matches.
Late goal situation aside, this was another standard LouCity win. They controlled the game and never looked like they were going to lose. Despite a rotating cast of players on the pitch, Louisville is able to maintain its dominance. As mentioned earlier, that depth will be crucial in the post-season. Injuries and cold streaks can occur at any time and it’s important to have everyone in top form for the knockout matches in the playoffs. Speaking of playoffs, Louisville City has a >99% chance to make the playoffs with a 30% chance to make it to the finals and a 16% chance to win it all (per FiveThirtyEight). Only second to Phoenix Rising. Both Phoenix and El Paso drew this weekend, bumping City’s regular-season champ odds to 84%, but both western squads scored in added time. Had they both lost, it would have gone a long way for the boys in purple. Oh well, we can only control what we can control. All we can ask is for the winning ways to continue! Vamos Morados!
The Coopers Angel’s Share program is focusing on helping man’s best friend and the furry felines of Louisville in August. Check out the post here to see how you can help and win a signed LouCity ball!
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