Match Recap – Miami FC vs Louisville City – 08/27/2022
A gritty match in Detroit resulted in a win for Louisville City, extending their streak to 10 straight matches without a loss (only one of which was a draw). With the race on to claim the regular season crown, LouCity was off to face Miami FC. Despite MIA’s playoff standing, the numbers suggested that Louisville would have a slight edge in this away encounter. Would Morados keep the streak alive and try to pull away from San Antonio in the standings?
Wes Charpie’s red card from DETvLOU was overturned, allowing him to take part in the Maimi match. Wilson Harris, however, was MIA because of his (self-inflicted) double yellow. This left Brian Ownby to reprise his role as “Striker Ownby”. The rest of the starting lineup remained unchanged from the previous match.
Unfortunately, Louisville City had a terrible start to the match, just like Racing Louisville. A loose ball with Kyle Murphy snuck between the LouCity center backs. Sean Totsch was able to catch up and apply pressure, but Murphy was able to get a well-placed shot off to the far post and into the net only four minutes in. That was Miami’s first goal against LouCity ever. Paolo DelPiccolo snuck in a good shot through traffic several minutes later. However, it was gobbled up by the keeper. Louisville proceeded to control the match and dictate the flow for the majority of the first half, although quality shooting opportunities were limited. At 29’, some outstanding passing by the boys in purple resulted in a Matiti Mushagalusa cross that was headed goalbound by Brian Ownby. The MIA keeper made a fantastic diving save to preserve his clean sheet. It was Louisville’s best opportunity in the match. Ray Serrano fired off a low near post shot at 38’ but it was kept out by a diving save. City closed out the first half with an angled shot from Ownby to the far post, but it flew narrowly out of play. Louisville uncharacteristically entered the locker room at halftime down 1-0.
The trend of a stronger second half didn’t materialize in this particular match. Ray Serrano looked to level the scoreline at 52’ with a volleyed shot that was stopped by the goalie. Like the first half, City was controlling the match, but they were finding fewer opportunities on goal. PDP and Matiti exited the match at 59’ for Elijah Wynder and Oscar Jimenez. At 72’, Ray came off for Jorge Gonzalez, followed by Napo Matsoso and Carlos Moguel, swapping in for Corben Bone and Manny Perez only a few minutes later. Carlos made an outstanding freekick at 82’ that locked on the top corner of the net, but the MIA keeper denied the shot. Louisville was unable to find the net as the match concluded 1-0. Their first loss since early June (TBRvLOU).
By The Numbers
All the stats went Louisville City’s way except the final scoreline. City was in full control of the match with 68% possession and 19 total shots (of which five were on target). Miami’s lowly 32% possession was only weakened by the fact that 64% of their accurate passes were in their own half. Even the xG values would have suggested that LouCity should have gotten something from the match, but it wasn’t to be. Louisville passed well (88% accurate pass completion) and created opportunities but was unable to find the back of the net. An unfortunate outcome ending their streak of getting results.
Player Of The Match
Matiti Mushagalusa had a solid outing if you look past the lack of goals. He created five chances, passed at an 85% success rate, and won the most duels (eight). He was a legitimate threat to the Miami defense, but they did enough to contain him and his teammates. While the chances are really only as good as what is made of them, I applaud his efforts in this match.
“With the quality we have on our team and the depth, we should never be dropping points to any team, really.” Amadou Dia is right. Louisville City only loses when they don’t play their game. For just a moment early on, they were not themselves and they paid for it. “We constantly talk about how we have to start the game the right away and switched off for a moment,” Coach Danny Cruz said. “It happened, and against a team like this that sits back, defends their box, and gives you 70% of the ball, you can’t concede a chance like that. We get the first goal, and it’s a completely different game. All in all, it’s not good enough in the back there for the first goal and in the attacking box.” While that early concession was painful, the rest of the match in some ways hurt worse. There was enough talent on the pitch to find a goal against even the stingiest of defenses. Heck, even the xG suggested that in many circumstances, they would have found a goal. When players like Wilson Harris are absent, others have to step up and it can’t always be Ownby. There have to be other difference makers in challenging matches like this. Miami snuck one in and was able to successfully park the bus for the remainder of the match. It’s the level of control that City maintained that makes the lack of scoring so irritating. “The expectation is we have enough quality to win these games. All in all, we weren’t good enough on the night,” Coach Cruz stated. It was a missed opportunity considering that Indy surprisingly beat San Antonio. On the flip side, the race remains even, but it’s hard not to think about what could have been in terms of the race for the regular season title. Still certainly within reach in LouCity’s control, but they could have been a lot better off with even a draw. There were certainly lessons to be learned from that match. It’s on to Indy for a midweek LIPAFC encounter and to get back to their winning ways.
To end on a positive note, congrats to Brian and Oscar!
Want to do a little more reading on LouCity? I suggest the following:
How’s It Going? Part 3 - An Assessment Of Louisville City’s 2022 Season-To-Date
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