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  • Writer's pictureBenton

Match Recap – Louisville City vs Sporting Kansas City 2 – 08/07/2021

Photo Credit: Connor Cunningham

Louisville City has had a fantastic season thus far. When you compare their performance to others in the league as well as some notable squads in the past, it appears that this team is destined for greatness this season. While looking in the rearview presents a comforting picture, there is still a lot of soccer left to play. Coming off a win against OKC Energy, LouCity is set to take on Sporting Kansas City 2. These two teams have already met twice this season (match one and match two), with both encounters in KC ending with a Louisville win. These LOUvSKC matches tend to be favorable to LouCity and there was little reason for fans to expect anything less than a win in this latest contest.

Louisville City Lineup

LouCity continues to leverage their deep bench and keep the rotations coming to keep guys fresh. Pat McMahon, Jonathan Gomez, Paolo DelPiccolo, and Brian Ownby all made their return to the eleven in this latest match in the 4-3-3 formation. Parker Siegfried has retained his role between the stick signifying there may have been a shift in the goalkeeper pecking order.

First Half

It was clear early in this match that Louisville City was the superior side. They were in complete control and Sporting KC’s only hope would be a lucky break on a counter-attack. Despite the domination, LouCity struggled early to convert that control into points. At 8’, Cameron Lancaster took a crack at goal from a free-kick outside the box, but a diving stop by the keeper kept it out of the net. Two minutes later, defender Wes Charpie almost kicked one in off a headed ball from Sean Totsch. The next 20+ minutes were KC doing just enough to stymie City’s attack and prevent a goal. Not even a bazillion corner kicks were able to set up a goal. At 37’, Wes headed a corner kick to the ground toward the goal but it had a little too much oomph on it and it bounced over the crossbar. Louisville broke the deadlock in the added time for the first half. Corben Bone sent a short cross to Jorge Gonzalez, whose shot whizzed through traffic and by the keeper. A much-needed breakthrough before the half.

Second Half

Foul? Photo Credit: EM Dash

It was more of the same to start the second half; Morados in control with Swope Park Rangers hanging in there. Niall McCabe entered the fray at 60’ to relieve Bone. At 68’, a strange sequence occurred resulting in Sporting KC leveling the scoreline 1-1. There was a tussle for the ball between Jorge and a KC defender that resulted in Jorge on the ground and KC in possession. Possibly a foul in that engagement, however, nothing overly egregious. Capitalizing on the opportunity, KC sends a long pass up the field to a breakaway attacker who ends up one-on-one with Parker and sending in an angled shot for a goal. While the broadcast did not fully capture the defensive line, based on what could be seen, it very much appeared it is a case of uncalled offsides. Regardless of whether or not that was true, the good guys now had some work ahead of them to make up for that flub, but it didn’t take long for them to come back. At 71’, a perfectly placed corner kick by JoGo was headed in by Ownby to put the boys in purple up 2-1.

City struck again at 75’. Jorge sent a long aerial cross to Ownby at the far post, who headed it down. The ball bounced back up and Cam put his head to it to score the team's third and his 60th in the USL.

Immediately following the goal, Ownby, Jorge, and PDP all came off, and Antoine Hoppenot, Napo Matsoso, and Jimmy McLaughlin. At 85’, Cam was relieved for Alexis Souahy to help see out the match. However, the action wasn’t over. In extra time, Hoppenot got the ball on a breakaway and dished it over to Jimmy at the edge of the box. Jimmy took a shot around the keeper, who was off his line. The shot took out the feet of a defender falling back and still had enough momentum on it to roll in before the defender could get back up and stop it from crossing the line. 4-1 LouCity.

By The Numbers

This was a classic dominant performance by City. Nearly 60% possession with 19 created chances and 19 shots. The home team was awarded quite a few corner kicks in this encounter. 19 to be exact (that number has come up a lot!). KC, on the other hand, accomplished very little in this match. Only four shots were taken, with just one on target. Of their 233 accurate passes, only 73 were in LouCity’s half. A look at the average player positioning shows how little of the pitch Sporting got to work with. Aside from the awkward goal, they were suffocated by Louisville.

Average Player Positioning
On-Target Shots, Assists, and Key Passes

Full-Time Thoughts

This is what many Louisville fans would have expected going into the match, but it was the difference in play before and after the KC goal that stood out to me. Before, City was dangerous but seemed to lack the desire to crush the competition. Perhaps almost too patient for a goal. After, they were not happy and their intensity turned up. “Hell of a second half,” said Coach Danny Cruz. “We know we have the talent, work ethic, and attack,” Ownby said, “and it’s just finding that final piece — final pass — because you see we get there a lot in the final third and it’s a final connection and we could be banging in four or five goals every game. So it’s just working on that final product.” This Supporter Appreciation Night match ended up being one of the more fun this season. A high-scoring win in Lynn Family Stadium. So many goals the smoke from Estopinal End set off the fire alarms. Twice! This team is good, but if the second-half team is what we get the rest of the season, they are going to need to make space for some more silverware!

Photo Credit: Connor Cunningham

Parting Thoughts

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