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Next Match – Birmingham Legion vs Louisville City – 04/02/2022

Louisville City is on the road again. After coming back to secure a draw in the first LIPAFC of the season, City will be looking to redeem themselves against the Birmingham Legion. The Legion was a strong opponent last season. It came down to the last match to determine the Division winner. While still talented, they may not have taken the same steps forward that LouCity has. Between the relatively static roster quality and tough early season schedule, John Morrissey has them at the bottom of the “playoff lock” teams (#11). Despite this, they are not a team to underestimate. They are full of talent and eager to right the wrongs of the first few matches.

A draw against Tampa and losses to Tulsa and the Switchbacks will be the Legion’s fuel heading into another tough match against a strong LouCity side. Leading the effort to turn things around will be Prosper Kassim, Zachary Herivaux, Enzo Martinez, and Johnny Dean. Kassim, now in his fourth season with the Legion, already has a goal and assist to his name and leads the squad with a player rating of 7.37. Herivaux, a midfielder, has the second-highest player rating (7.29) and has provided the second-most key passes per match. Enzo is new to Birmingham but not to LouCity fans. Previously with Charlotte, he has been a thorn in City’s side. A true heel. And finally, we have Johnny Dean. Dean’s speed is problematic for opposing teams. He leads his team in successful dribbles and key passes per match. Shutting him down can really stifle the Legion’s attack.

FiveThirtyEight believes this matchup will be a close one. They have given the home team a 38% chance to win and Louisville City a 34% chance. The negative statistics tied to the Legion (no clean sheets in 5 matches, -4 goal differential, etc.) are partly a product of small sample size. Birmingham is still figuring out who they are. Louisville City, meanwhile, has found themselves fairly early on. Will this be the match that things begin to “click” for the Legion or will the boys in purple collect points? This will be a solid road challenge for City, however, I disagree with FiveThirtyEight leaning towards the home team. The first half against Indy aside, Louisville City has been red hot. Momentum is on Louisville’s side and the Legion has yet to get things going. There are many more reasons to be confident than not that the visitors will be able to find a result, but anything can happen. We will find out on Saturday!

Parting Thoughts

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