Next Match – Louisville City vs Miami FC – 11/06/2021 – 2021 Playoffs
With the regular season now completed, it’s time for the playoffs. The Birmingham Legion fought hard and took the battle for the top of the Central Division to the last match, but it was Louisville City that stood victorious. With that spot secured, LouCity is now set to play the fourth seed from the Atlantic Division, Miami FC. While there are several storylines tied to this match (first meeting of the clubs, playoffs, etc.), it is the return of LouCity’s alumni Speedy Williams, Paco Craig, and Richy Ballard that will capture the minds of the fans. Three beloved players returning to Louisville lined up for the opposing squad. While these are three quality players, the entire team warrants attention, as their play has earned them a trip to the playoffs in only their second year in the league.
Miami is a solid squad that had to endure a regular season consisting of round-robin play with the likes of the Charlotte Independence, Pittsburgh Riverhounds, and the scary Tampa Bay Rowdies. During the regular season, they ranked 10th for shots on target per match, 6th for goals per match, and 11th for goals conceded per match. Much like LouCity, they have ranked high for both accurate passes (8th) and average possession (8th). They enter the first round of the playoffs with mixed results similar to LouCity, only having won three of their last five.
Aside from the former Louisville City players, Christiano François, Ariel Martínez, and Billy Forbes are all names to watch for. François is Miami’s leading goal scorer with 11 on the season. He finds nearly 1 shot on target per match (1st) and has the team's 2nd most assists. Martínez is the team’s 4th leading scorer, their assist leader, and has the 3rd highest player rating at 7.19. Forbes, a USL veteran, is Miami’s 2nd leading scorer.
FiveThirtyEight favors the home team, Louisville City, giving them a 69% chance to advance to the next round and take on the winner of Charlotte and Memphis. Morados has always advanced to at least the Eastern Conference Finals and the expectations will be no different this season. Playing at home will be a huge advantage for City. A large pitch and 10,000+ cheering them on are always favorable factors. BHMvLOU was an intense playoff-like match. Here is to hoping they can carry over that positive momentum into the first round.
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Want to do a little more reading on LouCity? Might I suggest How’s It Going Part 4, What Are Expected Goals (xG)?, The Tifos of Louisville City, or The Louisville City Youth Movement?
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