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  • Writer's pictureBenton

Next Match – Loudoun United vs Louisville City – 04/10/2022

After a draw in Birmingham and a US Open Cup win back at home, Louisville City begins a three-match stretch outside of the bluegrass beginning with a trip to see Loudoun United. Although Loudoun is technically a MLS 2 team (for DC United), they have been performing about that labeling this season. They have earned two wins, a draw, and an understandable loss to a solid Riverhounds team. Unlike LouCity, Loudoun has had early season success with a back three formation and will look to continue to prove fans of the league wrong and keep up their relatively hot start.

While it is still a small sample size of matches, Loudoun has put up some impressive stats compared to their peers. As things currently stand, they have created the most big chances and the 6th most on-target shots per match at 5.0. They move the ball well with the 4th most accurate passes per match (~420) and have an average possession of 55.1%, good for 5th in the league. All of this combined with the 4th fewest goals conceded per match (0.5) and you have yourself a surprisingly quality MLS 2 team. They are even beating LouCity in a few of those categories. To make things more interesting, three of their four previous opponents have all been teams Louisville has faced (Indy, NYRB2, and Miami). Normally, Louisville City fans could enter this matchup confidently, however, this season it will be more of a battle than usual. John Morrissey has even had them upgraded to smack dab in the middle of the playoff conversation.

There are several interesting players in the mix for Loudoun. Sami Guediri has had an excellent introduction to the USL Championship. The former Inter Miami man leads his team in all the following categories: player rating, successful dribbles per match, key passes per match, big chances created, clearances per match, successful tackles per match, and even red cards. He earned his red card in late March against Miami and has already served his suspension and will be back for LDNvLOU. Tyler Freeman, a former Sporting KC 2 player back from a stint in the U19 Bundesliga, leads his team with two goals but surprisingly has yet to start a match. A super sub to very much keep your eyes on. Michael Gamble has earned himself an assist, the 2nd highest player rating on the team, and is tied for the 2nd most key passes per match with 1.5. And finally, their keeper Luis Zamudio has earned himself some early season praise from John, “the new signee sits on an 81% save percentage alongside a league-pacing 1.69 GSAA and 97th percentile GAR. That’s nerd for ‘he’s really good.’

So, what does FiveThirtyEight have to say about all of this? Well, they are giving a lot of respect to the traveling LouCity team and have them at a 53% chance to win, with Loudoun sitting at only a 22% chance to win. Don’t let these numbers fool you. Loudoun has proven to be more capable than these odds suggest. Louisville has impressed early on this season but this will be an excellent test for them. Their last road test was derailed by a red card. Coach Cruz has helped navigate this squad to an undefeated start and will expect that record to remain intact after the Loudoun match.

Parting Thoughts

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