Match Recap – Sporting Kansas City 2 vs Louisville City – 07/28/2021
Updated: Jul 31, 2021
Following the draw to the Colorado Spring Switchbacks, Louisville City’s western road trip continues onwards with a midweek match against Sporting Kansas City 2. The last match against SKC2 (also away) ended as a thrilling 4-2 affair with Kyle Greig scoring a brace, a goal and an assist for Brian Ownby, and Corben Bone securing two assists. SKC Jr sits at the bottom of the Central Division but has accumulated four points in the two matches since the last meeting. Is this reserve team beginning to turn a corner, or was LouCity able to remind them where they belong in the standings?
Louisville City Lineup
The 4-2-3-1 is becoming a more common occurrence with this squad. The setup of choice for the previous two matches. In the formation, we had a returning Antoine Hoppenot and Paolo DelPiccolo to the starting eleven as well as Parker Siegfried. Siegfried, who had a minor loan stint with SKC earlier in the year, started in the previous trip to Kansas City. Per the broadcast, Bone was experiencing a minor knock but was featured on the bench. Given the short break between matches, it was a little surprising to not see more rotation however, if a player is fit and ready to go and the team has a plan for the next match on a few days away, why not?
The celebrations nearly started early for Louisville City. Only 4’ into the match, Ownby sent a great cross from the end line to Niall McCabe, but his positioning was slightly off to register a shot. A fantastic chance was created by Brian. Roughly ten minutes later, Pat McMahon fired off a rocket of a shot from the edge of the box that was headed out by a defender. LouCity continued to keep the pressure on the home side when only a few minutes later, Hoppenot made a fantastic leading pass to Ownby as he was falling. Ownby, noticing the keeper off his line, went for the lob shot, although he has just a touch too much on it and it went over the crossbar. At 33’, Louisville made their first substitute action of the night, taking off Niall for Bone. While there did not appear to be anything wrong at the time, it was later confirmed that he was feeling something in his knee. Smart move by the veteran to listen to his body and avoid unnecessary risk. Still a lot of season to be played. The half ended with a beautiful defensive stop by Sean Totsch, who prevented a shot from a counter-attack and did well to force the attacker out of bounds. Despite Morados’ dominance, SKC was able to hold a 0-0 draw for the first half. Coach Danny Cruz later stated, "I still thought we created enough opportunities in the first half to come out and win the goal, but sometimes it doesn’t fall, so we spoke about a few things at half and happy with the execution.”
Coach Cruz made a halftime substitution taking off Hoppenot for Jorge Gonzalez. That switch took less than 60 seconds to pay off. A little give and go between Gonzalez and Ownby resulted in an angled shot by Gonzalez that got by the keeper. The first goal in purple for the Portland loanee! Post-match, Coach Cruz said, "We wanted to bring in Jorge so that we could pinch him in a little bit more the wide areas and allow (Jonathan Gomez) more space out wide. It ends up working out. He takes his goal excellent ー great ball from Brian as well. Happy anytime that happens.”
Although had been controlling the match, SKC2 was managing to find some half chances here and there. One of which, at 49’, was stifled by Totsch with a sliding tackle who was the last line of defense on a quick counter. A few minutes later, City struck again. LouCity took possession of a long pass from the keeper and worked the ball down the sideline. Ownby dished a cross into the box that found the outstretched leg of Kyle Greig, who poked the ball into the net. 2-0 for the boys in purple.
Ownby, already sitting on two assists, received a long pass in the opposition's final third at 67’ and showed off his speed and ball skill working around them and taking a shot on goal that was narrowly wide. More LouCity substitutions came not long after this sequence. Jimmy McLaughlin and Napo Matsoso relieved PDP and Ownby, who had one heck of a night. Although the time was beginning to wind down at 84’ the action showed no signs of stopping. The KC goalie, under pressure from Bone, made an errant pass which was gobbled up by Gonzalez. Gonzalez initiated a few quick passes, which then found the ball at the feet of Bone with the keeper off his line. Bone took a shot that got past the goalkeeper, but a Sporting defender was in goal and used his body to keep out what would have been Louisville’s third on the night. Sporting Kansas, to their credit, never gave up despite being the inferior team. That tenacity paid off at 89’ when they made a cross into the box and blasted in their first goal, despite a heavy LouCity defensive presence. An oversight on the D on an otherwise stellar evening. Final score, Louisville two and Sporting KC one.
By The Numbers
Another MLS 2 team and another convincing victory. Dominate possession, tons of shots and chances, accurate passing. The xG scores reflected this dominance as well. If one wants to be critical, they should have kept out the one goal and had more shots on target. Other than that, it is the strong LouCity squad we have come to know. An example as to why they are the team to beat in the east.
Even with the adversity of the travel, injuries, and fixture congestion, Louisville City looked excellent. Ownby had a phenomenal match on the offensive side and Totsch showcased why he was one of the top defenders in the entire league last season. You’ve gotta love seeing a guy get his first goal for the club, so hats off to Gonzalez. He has had a lot of injury difficulty, so that was a big moment for him. Coach Cruz said it best; "At the end of the day, you take three points on the road in a difficult climate coming from Colorado. I’m extremely happy with the performance.” With that win, LouCity sits atop the east and has a >99% chance to make the playoffs and a 25% to make the final, according to FiveThirtyEight. This club has a history of success, so this level of domination is the expectation. They just need to keep it up! Cya all back at LFS on Saturday!
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