Match Recap – Louisville City vs OKC Energy – 07/31/2021
After a win in Kansas City, Louisville City capped off a busy week back at home to take on the OKC Energy. The previous match between the two sides earlier in July ended quite favorably for Morados. While the games have been rapid fire for City this week, they have shown no signs of slowing down. Did the fixture congestion finally catch up or did the purple machine keep rollin’?
Louisville City Lineup
LouCity showcased more rotation within their ranks when they came out in the 4-3-3 formation for this latest match. Parker Siegfried retained the spot between the sticks while young Josh Wynder and Jorge Gonzalez joined in on the starting eleven. Recovered from the head injury several matches ago, Cameron Lancaster made his return to the lineup. While the bench consisted of names fans are quite accustomed to, one, in particular, is less familiar. Academy product, Carlos Moguel, was featured as part of the eighteen and available for selection for the LOUvOKC match. Moguel, a midfielder, was one of seven to be offered a USL Academy contact earlier this season.
Louisville applied pressure early and kept the Energy on their back foot. Only 11’ into the match, LouCity nearly found the back of the net. A powerful shot by Corben Bone was body-blocked by a defender. The deflected ball landed right to the feet of Antoine Hoppenot, who took the onetime shot at the far post. While it was placed out of reach from the diving keeper, it was an inch or two off from going in, bouncing off the sidebar. A frustrating moment for Hoppenot who only just got his first goal of the season two matches ago in Colorado. It wasn’t until 37’ when the stalemate was broken. Jimmy McLaughlin worked the ball into the box and sent in a cross from the end line. A defender did intercept this attempt to feed Cam a goal and, unfortunately, headed it into his own net. McLaughlin may not get credit for the first goal on the stat sheet, but it's his effort that helped to make it happen. 1-0 for the boys in purple.
The half closed out with a scary moment for LouCity. An Energy counter-attack had the entire back line beat. Siegfried came off his line and stopped the one-on-one shot. The deflected ball rolled to the far post, where Wynder narrowly beat another charging attacker to the ball. A fantastic effort by two of the more inexperienced players on the pitch.
Ten minutes into the second half, reinforcement were deployed. It was a triple change; Hoppenot, Jimmy, and Wes Charpie off for Brian Ownby, George Davis IV, and Jonathan Gomez. At 69’, JoGo dished a cross over to Ownby, who fired off a shot that found the back of a defender rather than the goal. At 72’, Alexis Souahy came on for Corben Bone. About three minutes later, JoGo was hacked down in the box, resulting in an easy penalty kick call for the referee. Cam did what Cam does best and put it past the goalie to put his team up 2-0.
In the final ten minutes, Kyle Greig came in for Cam to see out the rest of the match. Unfortunately, the last-minute goal concession problem reared its ugly head again. A long Energy pass was received by a sprinting attacker who had the City backline hustling back into position. Sean Totsch made contact with the attacker at the corner of the box, which sent the Energy player to the ground and allowed for the ref to call a PK. A tough one to give up not only due to how late it occurred but also because it was not needed. The attacker would not have been in a great scoring position had he gotten by Totsch. The ensuing penalty was made, however, it had to be retaken. That too was scored. That brought the final scoreline to 2-1.
By The Numbers
It was not City’s most dominant match, however; it was still an overall respectable performance by the team. 14 shots taken on eight created chances is nice, but only three shots were on target. Louisville ended with an expected goal (xG) value of 1.54 to the Energy’s 1.32. Napo Matsoso particularly had a good showing. He earned a player rating of 7.6 with the most completed passes (76) and had the highest pass success rate (93%).
A win is a win, although it was not Louisville City’s best showing. Granted, this match was the third match in seven days and there were several rotations in the lineup. Still, LouCity fans have been spoiled enough where we can expect more. “We were moving the ball pretty well, had a couple half chances, and I think if we were a little bit sharper in more areas we maybe come away with a little more goals,” said midfielder Corben Bone after the match. One goal was an own goal and the other a PK, so it was a little disappointing that they were unable to score any from open play. Regardless, they got the job done. Looking at the bigger picture, there is a lot to be happy about. “When you look at the season, we’re having so far and the different ways that we’re winning and responding after losing two games, I think it shows a true resolve— a true character — and I give all the credit to that locker room. It’s a joy to work with them every day.” He went on to say, “We’re in a good way right now, but for me, we haven’t accomplished anything yet,” said head coach Danny Cruz. “You don’t win anything for being in first place in the middle of the year. With that being said, extremely, extremely proud of this group.” While the playoffs are essentially a lock, an accolade that has eluded the club does seem attainable. FiveThirtyEight is giving Louisville a 71% chance to end the regular season in first. Should they keep on winning (and Phoenix drops a few matches), Morados will be able to add to their long list of on-field accomplishments.
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