Although not securing a home win against Charleston was a bit of a missed chance to make nice gains on the table, Louisville City still did well to secure a draw against one of the league’s better teams. The boys in purple only had a few days of rest a preparation before taking to the pitch again for their second ever meeting with Rio Grande Valley. The first meeting between the two ended in a win for LOU and the squad appeared poised to earn another three points given the match was at home and RGV are among the league worst performing sides and reside all the way down in 11th in the West.
42’ - Mares
72’ - Wynder
By The Numbers
After the match, Manny Perez stated, “It does feel like a defeat, even though we tied. But that’s just the culture here. You always want to win.” While it is technically one point earned, given the home field advantage and RGV’s performance this season, Manny is right. Most followers of the club will see this as two points dropped. Goals change games, but for each time that LouCity took a lead, RGV managed to find one of their own within the following ten minutes. “I’m really frustrated to get that result here at home on a beautiful night in front of a great crowd,” Coach Danny Cruz said after the 2-2 draw. “Nowhere near good enough on the night — not even close.”
For as much momentum that was gained after the Indy and Tulsa wins, the CHS and RGV draws have taken a bit of wind out of the sails. Momentum is important especially as the final games in the regular season are rapidly approaching. But to the team’s credit, it has been a tough stretch. “It’s difficult to do with three games in a week,” Coach Cruz stated. “And when you look at the course of the last seven, eight weeks, we’ve had 11 or 12 games. It’s been a heavy load on the players, but this is the time we need to step up.”
While numerous factors have been discussed over the course of this season, consistency seems to be an element that has permeated the entire season. Momentary lapses from otherwise excellent players have altered results. For most of this year, these were offensive issues, but it seems there has been a bit of a defensive shift. “Set piece defending: We’ve been talking about it since Birmingham. We’ll have to go back and look at the film. Too many guys (were) walking around late. Too many guys (were) not switched on. I didn’t think the mentality was anywhere near where it needed to be.”
With a proper full week to work with, the boys in purple have sufficient time to get ready for their next match in Birmingham. As we creep closer to the end of the regular season in mid October, each and every point becomes more and more valuable as the team tries to secure as much home field advantage for the playoffs as possible. Results like this one can be frustrating, but it can be valuable learning opportunities that can help the squad perform in the approaching final stretch.
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