With Louisville City’s win over Detroit City and results elsewhere, LouCity has clinched first in the East and earned a first-round bye in the playoffs. And they did so with one game remaining. The one game left is a home match against Hartford Athletic. The best Hartford can do at this point is earn 9th in the East, so, like LouCity, they will be playing for pride. And if it’s anything like the last time these two met up, they probably will remain in 10th.
As alluded to above, Hartford isn’t great. You can roughly compare them to Tulsa or Phoenix, but even those two earned draws in their last meeting with Louisville. According to FotMob, they are 15th for goals for and 18th for goals against. While goals against remain relatively equal home and away, they haven’t produced as many goals on the road, which doesn’t help their case against one of the league’s best defenses.
A few names worthy of mention on their roster include Prince Saydee, Danny Barrera, and Andre Lewis. Saydee leads his team in assists (8), created the second most big chances (9), and has the third-highest player rating (6.93). He does more than assist as he has contributed four goals this season (good for T-4th). Barrera is an important veteran for this HFD team. He has six assists (2nd) with the most chances created (60) and big chances (11). Along with his two goals, he has earned the 2nd highest player rating on his squad. And finally, there is Lewis. He has the 2nd most goals (6), three assists, and the 2nd most chances created (40). He has averages a plater rating of 7.10, good for 1st on his team.
FiveThirtyEight agrees with what the table standings suggest; Louisville City is the comfortable favorite. They have a 66% chance to win while Hartford has only a 14% chance to upset the East’s winner. With the amount of time between the last match and this one along with the first-round playoff bye, I’m expecting a full-strength lineup, which wouldn’t help HFD’s cause. One more match to fine-tune game plans before the playoffs begin. Let’s enter the postseason on a positive note!
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