Next Match – Louisville City vs Birmingham Legion – 07/02/2022
Louisville City’s win over Hartford Athletic gives them two straight wins coming off their bye week. Making it three straight could be a challenge, as the Birmingham Legion is next up. The Legion sits 5th in the East, only one point behind Detroit, and has been given a 91% chance by FiveThirtyEight to make the playoffs. They are unbeaten in their last five, with four straight wins. LouCity may have the head-to-head edge (4-2-2 all-time against BHM), however, this looks like it will be a tough match for Morados. They kept City to a point during the last meeting and have only gotten better since.
Defensively, the Legion has been one of the best. Having only allowed 0.8 goals per match, they are tied for 1st with Louisville City. They have also racked up 6 clean sheets, good for 6th in the league. The offensive side is where they have opportunities to grow. BHM has only scored 0.9 goals per match (25th) with 4.1 shots on target per match (14th) and 29 big chances missed (2nd). When looking at goals per match compared to expected goals per match, they have been the “unluckiest” in the league. Looking at earned points, they are relatively comparable to the Pittsburgh Riverhounds or San Diego Loyal.
There is a lot of individual talent on their roster. Enzo Martínez, Jonny Dean, Marlon, and Prosper Kasim are all worth highlighting. Enzo has been a thorn in LouCity’s side for years. This season, he has scored three times (2nd) and provided two assists (1st) to the Legion. He has also created the most chances (33) and “big” chances (5) for his squad. Jonny Dean can boast 2 assists and the 3rd most chances created (23), but his speed is largely why he is included here. He is a more defensive/midfield-oriented Brian Ownby. A problem up the flank that City will need to carefully plan for. Marlon is a newcomer to the Legion, having played the previous three seasons with FC Tulsa. He currently has two goals this season and will likely accumulate more given his prowess on the wing. Prosper is an immense talent for Birmingham, however, he is returning from injury and the level of contribution that he may provide during LOUvBHM is questionable. Should he play, he is their top scorer and should be respected.
So, with all that said, how do the two squads line up? Well, FiveThirtyEight remains very confident in the home team. Louisville has a 53% chance to secure the win with the Legion, only given a 21% chance to walk away with all three points. I’m generally aligned with their odds, but I feel these don’t give Birmingham enough respect. I still believe that City is the favorite, however it may be a bit tighter than what they have. It will be interesting to see what the bookies peg the matchup to be within the next few days. LouCity will probably have Kyle Morton, Cameron Lancaster, and Wilson Harris all available again to varying degrees of health, so that plays in our favor. Should be a great 4th of July weekend matchup!
Want to do a little more reading on LouCity? I suggest the following:
Be sure to check out the Vamos Morados Podcast featuring me, Benton, and Zach Allen-Kelly. It’s available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcast, Audible, and Spotify. Everything you need to listen can be found on the Podcast page. Subscribe so you don’t miss an episode!