Four days after the win over Loudoun and eleven days follow the last Pittsburgh encounter, Louisville City again found themselves taking on Bob Lilley’s Riverhounds. LouCity was denied all three points at PIT but did secure one. This time around, the boys in purple would have the home field advantage and would be looking to right the wrongs of the last meetings between the two Eastern Conference heavyweights.
Carlos Moguel and Ray Serrano were early subs in the previous match and their off-the-bench efforts earned them starts in this match. Along with those two changes, Manny Perez returned to the starting eleven. Louisville’s biggest offensive catalyst, Brian Ownby, was available for selection from the bench.
By The Numbers
Louisville City had a deceptively high 61% possession. It’s deceptive because 2/3rds of their passes were in their own half. A lot of bouncing the ball around in the back looking for an opening against a diciplined PIT defense. LouCity’s 11 shots (one on target) produced an xG of 1.39, trumping PIT’s 1.07. Much of this was throwing the kitchen sink at the visitors late into the match. To the Riverhounds credit, they put 6 of their 9 total shots on target.
Player Of The Match
Oliver Semmle made several huge saves. The ever reliable keeper has once again proven why he is first choice between the sticks. It’s unfortunate that he was so busy but he put up an admirable performance worthy of POTM.
“All in all, honestly, not a very good performance from us,” Coach Danny Cruz stated after the match. “We need to make sure we go back to the drawing board, dissect it, and look at making sure we certainly continue to try to work on and fix the attack.” Although it was the adept defense of Bob Lilley, it was still clear that there is work to be done in the final third for the boys in purple. “We were in position to score goals, and we either didn’t finish the ball or got unlucky with some calls,” Sean Totsch observed. “In some of the scenarios, guys would say you’ve got to get shots off. Maybe we get the shot off a half second second earlier rather than waiting on a call, because the calls aren’t coming.” LouCity has had an unfortunate stretch of not getting some potentially game-changing calls. “I think we were a bit unfortunate again with calls,” Coach Cruz said. “We can’t seem to get one to help in those moments.” Regardless if the officials got them right or not (I tend to believe the latter), there are elements of the game that the squad could improve upon to not need to rely on USL refs making a decision in Morados’ favor.
Despite managing to secure a draw in PIT (although could argue they were denied three there), the team fumbled yet another home match. The once formidable Lynn Family Stadium now suddenly appears to not be the fortress it once was. LouCity had remained unbeaten in their previous four but couldn’t make it to five. Given their struggles to score, there was palpable frustration amongst supporters. Louisville has had unheard of success in the USL and any hint of regression feels like doom and gloom for many in the stands of LFS. Despite the vibes being off, LouCity only sits a point behind 4th place Memphis and has games in hand on 3rd place Charleston, Tampa, and Pittsburgh. With a lot of season left to play, Louisville still controls their destiny but they have some soul-searching to do before they make the most of the rest of the regular season.
Want to do a little more reading on LouCity? I suggest the following: