Next Match: Louisville City vs Sporting Kansas City 2 – 08/19/2020
Coming off a confidence-boosting win against Loudoun United, Louisville City is back in action to take on Sporting Kansas City 2 for the third time this season at Lynn Family Stadium. This match up was initially scheduled for 08/12/2020, however, it was pushed back due to a positive COVID-19 test (the original match preview can be found here). It was a short rest period for both teams as each squad participated in a match on Saturday. City got their much needed win while SKC2 suffered through a moral-dampening 3-0 defeat to fellow Group E member, St Louis FC. As it stands, Lou City has a narrow lead on the Kansas side in the group with Louisville in third at ten points and Sporting at seven points. Louisville City has a game in hand on second place St Louis and a win would put the good guys in a stronger position to secure a postseason.
Statistically, City appears to have the slight edge. Our boys in purple have a record of 3-3-1 with an average player rating of 6.7, an average of 4.1 shots on target per match, and an average possession of 55%. The MLS 2 team, with a record of 2-4-1, only have an average player rating of 6.4, 3.6 shots on target per match, and an average possession of 48.7%. Both are averaging 1 goal a match although Lou City averages 1 goal conceded per match to SKC2’s 1.4. Sporting Kansas does, however, boast the 5th best saves per match in the league at 4.1 (I’m sure our poor shooting earlier in the season helped with that). On top of the numerical advantages, Louisville is coming off a big win and get to stay put at home while Sporting KC have been left with many questions about their performance last match as they travel back to Kentucky to take on the two-time champions. This momentum difference could help to tip the scale in Morados’s favor.
Last match saw regular starters such a Brian Ownby and Oscar Jiménez miss out on the starting eleven. Given the quick turnaround, it would not be shocking to see them back on the pitch at kickoff. One could venture a guess that we will continue to see those who have been performing well start such as Cameron Lancaster, Speedy Williams, Pat McMahon, Sean Totsch, Paolo DelPiccolo, and Napo (on the wing, of course). As this is the third match up with SKC, Coach Hackworth may have a few tricks up his sleeve. On the KC side, it is worth noting that Jahon Rad picked up a red card in his last outing after making frustrated, reckless tackle very late in the match. Expect to see the likes of Wilson Harris (their leading goal scorer), Daniel Barbir, and Christian Duke in the match.
FiveThirtyEight has us pegged at a 65% chance to win tomorrow and I sure hope they are right. We’ve been desperate for some momentum and optimism and its looking like we finally have some of both. Sporting Kansas City 2 are not expected to make the playoffs (again, according to FiveThirtyEight) however there is nothing stopping them from hurting our odds. Indy is basically a lock so it’s essentially a two horse race between City and St Louis, but hey, anything can happen. See yall tomorrow night!