Match Recap – Louisville City vs Oakland Roots – 08/26/2023
Updated: Sep 5
An extremely poor performance in Birmingham did nothing to quell the concerns of Louisville City supporters. With only 9 matches left, momentum was certainly not on the side of the boys in purple. This wasn’t exactly the ideal situation to be welcoming a top playoff contender, the Oakland Roots, to Lynn Family Stadium for the first time. The Roots are in the midst of a push to secure a home playoff spot, so the visitors had all the incentive they needed plus better form than LouCity. A heavily injured Louisville could not afford to drop more points at home should they want to best position themselves in the postseason. It was essentially do-or-die time for both sides. It was time to see who could seize the moment and set themselves up for a late-season push.
71' - Ownby
90+8' - Jimenez
By The Numbers
It wasn’t just Oscar Jimenez’s goal but also his words that inspired. “Siempre hay una última oportunidad,” he said after the match. There’s always one last chance. For a team who have had their ups and downs with mentality (see my previous comments), the squad gave it their all against Oakland and played their hearts out until the final whistle. Despite the adversity, the team continued to fight to earn all three points. It’s matches like these that help the fans see why Coach Danny Cruz has maintained faith through this difficult season.
“I have a firm belief that we have the quality in there to do something special,” Coach Cruz said. “Tonight was a special moment.” After a first half that saw chances squandered, a goal revoked, and a late goal conceded, it would have been easy for a team to give in to negative emotions. However, there was a special fight within the team. Neither injuries* nor a goalkeeper’s theatrics could stop Morados. “I think a lot went against us tonight,” Coach Cruz stated. “And I feel the players responded incredibly. I was really happy with the performance. I didn’t feel we deserved to lose that game. I felt we deserved to win that game.” Thankfully, the better team did win.
LouCity amassed an xG of 2.60 to Oakland’s 0.91. For context, this was the team’s second-highest xG this season behind the win against DET in April. The home team fired off a whopping 25 shots with 10 on target to OAK’s nine shots and four on target. It’s worth noting that this was done reverting to the 4-3-3 (the team shape in the visual above is very wrong lol). Despite recent form, injuries, etc., the team got the job done and earned three points at home.
With that win and a MEM loss, Louisville City has crept up into 4th, the final home playoff spot. MEM does have a game in hand and IND and BHM are hot on the trail, so there is still little margin for error. LOU does have some games against teams outside the playoff picture, but several big encounters still await them, including two TBR matches. If the team can maintain the mentality and fight they showed against Oakland, any game is winnable. This season has had its ups and downs, but the potential is still there for its ending to be one of celebration. Time will tell. Take things one match at a time.
Next up for Louisville is a road trip to Colorado Springs. Thankfully for LOU, their last match was a disaster and they will have three players out suspended. This is the leadup to the first TBR match, so keeping the momentum alive is crucial!
Want to do a little more reading on LouCity? I suggest the following:
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