Next Match – El Paso Locomotive vs Louisville City – 07/30/2022
For the second straight match, Louisville City will face opposition from the West. This time, however, will be outside the confines of Lynn Family Stadium. With an extended break under their belts, the boys in purple are heading to El Paso to take on the Locomotive. This will be the first meeting between the clubs and both are in need of some points to solidify their playoff positions.
El Paso is currently 5th in the West with 33 points. After a beating in Oakland and a tough San Antonio match, they have let the competition catch up to them in the standings. Momentum is not on Loco’s side. With 1.7 goals for per match (7th) and 1.3 goals against per match (12th), they are still a solid team in the grand scheme. Think of them like the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, but a little less fortunate. While their GF/G and GA/G are respectable, their possession (61.6%, 1st), clean sheets (8, 4th), shots on target per match (5.2, 7th), and big chances created (41, 7th) paint an even more positive picture. For reference, LouCity is 2nd, 2nd, 1st, and 2nd respectively.
Luis Solignac, Dylan Mares, and Josué Gómez are players to watch on the opposition. The 31-year-old Solignac has over 70 starts and 6,000 minutes logged in the MLS before arriving in the USL. Now in his second season in El Paso, he leads his team with 7 goals, has 4 assists (3rd), and leads in shots on target per 90 with 1.3. A stellar attacking talent that will surely test the might Louisville defense. Mares leads his team in player rating (7.36), chances created (35), and possession won in the final 3rd per 90 (0.7). He has also scored 5 (3rd) on 1.0 shots on target per match (2nd) and provided 5 assists (2nd). And finally, there is Gómez. He leads his squad in assists (6) and has 6 goals to his name (2nd). He has created the most big chances (6th) and owns the 3rd highest player rating 7.10.
This should be a good challenge for LouCity on the road. Morados has been given a 43% chance to win by FiveThirtyEight with El Paso not far behind at 30%. With Tampa nipping at their heels, Coach Cruz will want as many points as possible to maintain the top spot, while the Locomotive will be looking to shake their losing streak and solidify their playoff chances. Should be an interesting affair!
Be sure to check out my assessment of LouCity's performance the first half of the season (How's It Going Pt. 2) as well as my feature on Josh Wynder!
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