Next Match – Louisville City vs FC Tulsa – 05/28/2022
Louisville City is on a two match losing streak (three if you’re counting the Open Cup match against Nashville SC). This is cushioned by a phenomenal start to the season, but the lead they once had in the East is all but gone. While the loss against LA had the excuses of fixture congestion, travel, and heavy roster rotation, the Monterey Bay loss didn’t. It was a stretch to expect a rebound outcome against MLS’ Nashville SC, but Coach Cruz did see some improvements as well as areas the team still needed to rectify. Thankfully for the boys in purple, their next encounter is a home matchup against FC Tulsa.
Tulsa, on paper, is only slightly better than Monterey. While the optimism against them didn’t exactly pan out, that doesn’t mean that this isn’t a more favorable opportunity to give the fans a much-desired win. Tulsa is 9th in the East and currently only has a 26% chance to make the playoffs according to FiveThirtyEight. They have scored at a respectable rate (13th in the league), however, their defense has leaked goals (24th in the league). Welcomed news for a LouCity team needing some positive results in the final third. They are very average when it comes to possession (16th in the league) and one could reasonably assume that Louisville’s dominance in this area could result in that being below their average to date (48.8%). They do have good wins over Detroit and San Diego, so they are to be respected.
Names to look out for include JJ Williams, Rodrigo Da Costa, and Gabriel Torres. JJ, a UK product and former Birmingham Legion player, has had a great start with his new club. He’s scored five goals (1st on the team), averages the most shots on target per 90 (1.3, 1st), and owns the team’s 3rd highest player rating (7.01). Da Costa has been a staple on the Tulsa roster in recent years. He is already up to four goals in the campaign (2nd) and has the 2nd highest player rating (7.04). Torres is a new addition to the team, having spent the previous two years in Hartford. He has one goal and one assist and is far and away the highest player rating with 7.41.
As mentioned above, it’s a favorable matchup. The FiveThirtyEight odds are a little less slanted than they were for Monterey. It’s a 63% chance for a Morados win to Tulsa’s 16% to extend City’s losing streak. With a mostly healthy roster and some time to rest and prepare, there is little excuse for the slump to continue. Based on Coach Cruz’s tone and visible frustration after Monterey, it’s a safe assumption the expectations have been clearly drilled into the players’ heads and that the staff will be maximizing every bit of training time. They all know the club’s standards and what to hold up to them as much as the fans want them to.
If I have made you uncomfortable or fearful of a jinx by remaining confident despite that same confidence not panning against Monterey Bay, here is a funny picture from the Open Cup match to take your mind off the situation.
Want to do a little more reading on LouCity? I suggest the following:
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