top of page
  • Writer's pictureBenton

Match Recap – Tampa Bay Rowdies vs Louisville City – 06/16/2024

Photo Credit: Andres Isaza

Editor’s Note: Apologies for missing a few matches. Life happened. For the sake of documentation, here are the match-ups and results:

  

Al Lang Stadium has not been kind to Louisville City. Their last win there was all the way back in 2018. Given the team’s performance this season, it felt like this could be the year to beat the Rowdies at their place. Alas, it was not to be. The offensive juggernaut that is LouCity only found two goals (2.8 goals per match, 1st in the USL) to Tampa’s three (1.9 goals per match, 2nd in the USL) with their game-winner coming in stoppage time.

 

The home team came in with a game plan that left Louisville chasing the match. It took 30’ for the Rowdies to get their first, but the boys in purple had been looking like the second-best team on the pitch up until that point. It wasn’t that LouCity looked bad, but rather Tampa executing and taking advantage of their opportunities. Their first came by way of a quick attack down the pitch, with Damien Las coming off his line to try to secure the ball before a shot could be registered. His miss there allowed for a tight-angled shot to get slotted into the net. Less than five minutes later, their second was scored via a penalty. Hard to fault Aiden McFadden, who was trying to quickly whip around and clear the ball behind him, inadvertently hitting a TBR player who closed in behind him. Louisville struggled to slow Tampa’s attack. That PK was earned due to their ability to keep the ball in LouCity’s box more than it should have been. Morados did claw one back before the end of the half. It was a corner kick into the box that required a few point-blank shots to finally across the line. That’s about as good as Jordan Farr could have looked while conceding a goal.



The second half was a better showing for the top of the East LouCity team. They were able to reduce the number of opportunities for the home team and exert a bit more control than was seen in the first half. Another corner led to LOU’s second at 51’. Jorge Gonzalez snuck a low shot through the crowd to tie up the match. Tampa only registered two on-target shots in the second half, but that second one was the worst kind. The kind that reminds you of that match. The home team sent a cross to the far post that was hit out of the air by an unmarked attacker and put past Las. There was still roughly an additional five minutes played, but it was too little time for LouCity to even the scoreline once more. Jus the second defeat for Louisville City in 2024. And yet another year in which they could not snag a win in St. Pete.



Despite the outcome, Coach Danny Cruz found some elements of the match to be pleased about. “I was really proud of the second half,” said Coach Cruz. “We made some tactical adjustments I thought the players executed, and I felt the players left everything on the field in the second half. We cannot switch off in the last moment there. It’s too easy of a goal to concede in the (92nd) minute. Now it’s about responding.” Kyle Adams, who got his first start since a minor injury stint, shared similar thoughts. “We found ourselves in a bit of a hole there and made a tactical adjustment there toward the end of the first half, and it worked…Second half, we were excellent. We left everything out there, but on the road, you’ve got to find a way to pick up a point there or hopefully keep three.”

Photo Credit: Andres Isaza

Expected goals (xG) are not the end-all-be-all, but it is hard to win a match when your opponent generates just shy of 3 xG. American Soccer Analysis calculates it at 2.92 for TBR and 1.41 for LOU, while the (below) GameFlow chart has it at 2.74 to 1.94. The only other team to get over two against Louisville was Charleston. That encounter was their only other loss. Those two are in an exclusive group that not only has somewhat comparable talent but also the tactical ability to find the small weaknesses in LouCity’s tactics. As Coach Cruz and Kyle Adams said, the team has been able to tactically adjust. Same situation against CHS too. However, it has not been enough to overcome the deficits of the first half. These are the games the team will want to review in the film room in a little more depth, as these are the types of teams that they will need to overcome in the playoffs. While it's incredibly premature to start talking post-season, even the biggest LouCity-hater would even have to admit it feels super unlikely they won’t be in that mix. If this team is to not only make but win the final, they will need to maximize their learning from encounters like this against some of the best the league has to offer.


 

Losing to the Tampa Bay Rowdies also sucks a little more than losing to other teams, but our boys in purple are still in a great position. Charleston losing to Detroit softens the blow as LouCity maintains a lead on the table by three points with a game in hand over CHS. Losses happen but thankfully they have been very few, and each had redeeming qualities. I expect this will only be a blemish that will soon be forgotten after their next win. The next meeting with the Rowdies now has a little extra spice to it. Can’t wait for that one at Lynn Family Stadium!


Parting Thoughts

30 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page