Next Match: Louisville City vs Sporting Kansas City 2 – 08/12/2020
Updated: Aug 12, 2020
Louisville City will only get a few days rest before welcoming back Sporting Kansas City 2 for round 3 at Lynn Family Stadium. Both clubs have won one a piece in 2020 as each side looks to claw their way up the Group E standings with identical records of 2-1-3. After 2 early losses, SKC2 have found a rhythm beating City in the 2nd encounter, beating Indy Eleven at Lucas Oil Stadium, and drawing late at St Louis FC. Their most recent match up was scheduled for 08/08 but was postponed meaning they will enter the match up a little more rested. Lou City, meanwhile, have struggled since the restart but may have begun to steer the ship in the right direction with an improved performance against Indy Eleven. While it was not the win we had all hope for and some of the offensive issues persisted, there were a lot of positives and clear signs that they are not done yet.
Both clubs are equally not very competitive on the total goals scored front (6 for KC and 5 for City), it’s a different story with shots taken. Louisville sits in 2nd with 103, right below Indy’s 122. Sporting KC are in 15th with 68. Louisville City is averaging 4.3 shots on target a match with Sporting Kansas not far behind with 3.7. Their conversation rate of 13% is nothing too impressive but our boys in purple have a lot of work to do sitting at 6%. Lou City is one of the better passing squads in the league tied for 8th with 80% completion rate meanwhile KC linger towards the bottom tied for 27th with 76%. City is averaging a better possession rate of 54.7% compared with KC’s 47.8%.
Players to keep an eye on with Sporting Kansas include Daniel Barbir. He has averaged a rating of 7.11 in the 2020 campaign and is tied for the most goals in his squad with 2. Wilson Harris also sits tied for 1st on his team with 2 goals although his contributions (or lack thereof) have left him with a low player rating average of 6.36. Brooks Thompson (6.94 rating) and the veteran Dillon Serna (6.72) could also pose a problem in this match up.
Lou City may be struggling to put together a solid, winning outing but there are many individuals on the squad who are performing well. Speedy Williams has been doing fantastic with an average rating of 7.29 (21st in the league) and 2 goals to his name. He scored the 1st goal in Lynn Family Stadium as well as the beautiful header against Indy Eleven. He has completed 81% of his passes and has created 5 chances. Cameron Lancaster is another force to be reckoned with having scored 3 goals in 6 matches, 43% shots on target, and averaging a player rating of 7.16 (34th in the league). Sean Totsch and Pat McMahon have become defensive staples in the lineup each earning average ratings of 7.16 and 7.10 respectively (36th and 47th). I’d be remiss if I did not also mention Napo Matsoso’s performance as of late. He is averaging a rating of 7.01 (58th) with 7 chances created and a passing rate of 87%. Corben Bone (6.96 average rating), also worth a mention, is averaging 2.5 key passes a match (4th in the league) an 87% passing percentage.
Currently, FiveThirtyEight is giving Louisville City a 62% chance to secure the win and 22% for a draw. We sit at exactly 50% chance at making the playoffs. SKC2, who have been punching above their weight class this season, are still only given a 5% to make it to the post season. Despite these odds, Sporting KC has proven they are no pushovers. They’ve got a young squad who is fighting to prove their worth. They have beaten us and Indy while on the road which warrants more respect that initially given. This is Louisville's opportunity to keep correcting course on what has been an unfortunate start in the group. Every point matters in these inter-group match ups and we need to make the most of it. Last match saw the clever change of putting Napo on the wing; It makes me wonder what other out-of-the-box ideas that Hack and staff may have up their sleeve. Either way, they better spend these next few days practicing on turning shots into goals because if that problem is not solved soon, it could be a purple-free playoffs. I have a feeling the team is close to making the much needed breakthrough. See you all on Wednesday night!
Update: Due to a positive COVID-19 test with SKC2, this match has been pushed back a week to 08/19/2020.