Next Match – Louisville City vs Phoenix Rising – 07/20/2022
It’s a quick turnaround for Louisville City following the Memphis 901 match as the boys in purple return home to take on Phoenix Rising. Despite having only played once, both sides of this matchup would agree there is a semblance of a rivalry between the clubs given their statuses as traditional powerhouses of the league. Because of this, the USL made this the marquee event of their new USL Summer Showcase with several activities surrounding this midweek match. Unfortunately, Phoenix has been falling rather than rising. It’s been quite a down year for the Arizona squad as they find themselves notably outside of the playoff picture. With only a 27% chance to make the postseason (per FiveThirtyEight), their long-term prospects look bleak but they do have a shot at redemption for their 2018 Finals loss.
PHX is winless in their past six matches (losing five) with their last win in late May against Hartford. Ouch. Their attack has been decent, racking up the 4th most shots on target per match (5.3), the 14th most big chances created (28), and the 10th most goals per match (1.6). Their defense, however, has been the glaring issue. They have allowed 2.2 goals per match, putting them in 25th in the league and have conceded 4 PKs (5th). They are not in good company in the below charts. This season has been a struggle for the former kings of the west.
Despite their uninspiring results, there are still a number of talented players on their roster, including Greg Hurst, Aodhan Quinn, and Luis Manuel Seijas. Hurst is part of a small group of players who have made the jump from League One to the Championship and have excelled. He is tied for the most goals on his squad with 5, has 3 assists to his name (2nd), and has created the most big chances (5). Quinn, a member of LouCity’s inaugural team, has been quite successful during his stay with Phoenix Rising. He has scored 4 goals this season (3rd), 4 assists (1st), has created the most chances (48 with the next closest being 28), 6.1 accurate long balls per 90 (1st), and has the team’s highest player rating at 7.71. He is a key piece of the puzzle. And finally, there is the veteran Seijas. At the age of 36, he has bagged 5 goals (T-1st) at a rate of 0.48 per 90 (2nd), has 35.8 accurate passes per 90 (1st), and owns the team’s 3rd highest player rating (7.27).
It’ll be a tough road trip for the Rising and FiveThirtyEight is only giving them a 17% chance to claim victory compared to Louisville’s 63% chance. There will be a lot of eyes on this Summer Showcase and it will be a wonderful opportunity for Louisville to display their might and flaunt our beautiful Lynn Family Stadium to a national audience. The short rest will be tricky, but our deep roster of talent should be able to manage just fine. Vamos Morados!
Be sure to check out my assessment of LouCity's performance the first half of the season (How's It Going Pt. 2) as well as my feature on Josh Wynder!
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!