Next Match: Louisville City vs Sporting Kansas City 2 – 10/03/2020
After a bit of an emotional rollercoaster of a season, we are finally at the end of the regular season. On Saturday, Louisville City takes on Sporting KC 2 one last time in 2020. It feels like we have played them 800 times, doesn’t it? Anyway, they failed to remain in contention for the playoffs, so for them this is a farewell tour. For City, however, there is still reason to keep on the gas. Should Lou City beat SKC and Tampa Bay Rowdies and Hartford Athletic botch their last matches, Louisville could host all Lou City’s playoff matches barring the final. They could even host the final if San Antonio and Reno either drop the ball or not make it to the finals. A lot of “ifs” there, but it’s possible. We can’t get ahead of ourselves. They require a win on Saturday for this all to happen.
Despite being a Two team, they had proven to be better than most had assumed at the start of the campaign. On the attacking front, they are roughly a notch below Saint Louis. They are tied for 20th in the league with 20 total goals (and 1.3 goals per match, both same as STL) and are 27th with 157 shots (compared to STL’s 17th). They are averaging 3.5 shots on target a match which pales compared to Saint Louis’s 4.6 and Morados’s 4.8. On the defensive side, they only have two clean sheets and are tied for 9th most conceded goals, averaging 1.9 goals against per match. They are 5th on average saves per match with 3.9 but you’d rather not see your keeper in that position in the first place. They are 13th for accurate passes per match with 346.2 at a success rate of 77.6% so at least they have that going for them.
Looking at their squad, a few players to watch include Wilson Harris, Fredlin Mompremier, and Dillon Serna. Harris is their leading scorer, and it’s not particularly close. He has bagged eight goals in the season with the next closest on the squad only having two. Mompremier is a well-rounded player. He leads his team with a player rating of 6.79 and has one goal and three assists during the 2020 campaign. Serna is the wily veteran of the young Sporting squad. He leads his team with four assists and brings some MLS experience to the youthful side. They certainly have some talent, but they are young and still learning. The experience of the Louisville City side should be able to exploit that inexperience one more time this season.
We could see some shakeup to the starting 18 this week, but I said that last time too, and that didn’t exactly happen. Since it’s not a total throwaway game, I don’t think there will be too much change to the starting eleven at least. With that said, Coach Hackworth could do a little tinkering before the playoffs. Niall McCabe recently confirmed that he is “days” away from on-field availability so we could be treated to him making the bench. I’m still keeping my fingers crossed for Jason Johnson and Chris Hubbard to get a little love.
FiveThirtyEight is giving us a 77% chance to grab all three points with KC only at 7%. I have no reason to believe that City is going to choke now. They have been on the warpath for quite some stretch, and I doubt Sporting KC will be the ones to slow our roll. Like I mentioned above, there is still an incentive to win on Saturday (not that Hack would strive for less anyway). Lou City needs to go out and do their job, and we will see if we get the other results. I want to take a moment and take a look down at second place in the group. Because of Kansas City’s upset over Indy Eleven mid-week, Saint Louis is still alive. It will all come down to Indy vs STL. Winner books their trip to the playoffs. If Louisville runs away with things on Saturday, you may want to cue up that match on your phone to keep up with the drama. I know I’ll be cheering on Saint Louis. Don’t you love the end of the regular season chaos? See you all on Saturday! Make sure you are wearing your mask and register to vote!