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  • Writer's pictureBenton

Next Match – Louisville City vs Tampa Bay Rowdies – 11/05/2022 - 2022 Playoffs

For the third straight year, the Eastern Conference Finals has come down to Louisville City and the Tampa Bay Rowdies. Both clubs are coming off dramatic wins. LouCity beat Pittsburgh in PKs while the Rowdies beat Memphis after Memphis missed a PK in added time while they made one of their own. These two have seen each other twice before in 2022. The most recent meeting was the “Fill The Fam” match in which Louisville won and earlier in the year it was a loss down in St. Petersburg.

The Rowdies, who finished 3rd in the Eastern Conference, are a well-round team. They boast the league’s most potent offense and one of the better defenses. Their stats line up very closely with LouCity’s and, as we all know, have matched up well against Morados over the past few seasons. They have been a bit of a boogyman and will be looking to further that reputation with this match.

Like all teams left at this stage of the playoffs, they are loaded with talent. A few to keep an eye on include Leo Fernandes, Jake LaCava, and Lewis Hilton has been with the Rowdies for several years now. Fernandes is a known entity. He leads his team in goals (20), assists (9), big chances created (23), and player rating (7.71). LaCava is a young player on loan from NY Red Bulls (the MLS version) and has 12 goals (2nd) along with 5 assists and 7 big chances created (3rd). Hilton has spent the past 3 seasons with the Rowdies and has been part of the unfortunate playoff trend for Louisville. He has 6 assists (2nd) with 59 chances created (1st) and 9 big chances (2nd). He also lays claim to the 2nd highest player rating (7.45).

FiveThirtyEight has given the home team a 60% chance to win while TBR has a 40% chance. John Morrissey, however, is going with the Rowdies (boo). At this stage in the playoffs, anyone can be anyone. There are plenty of cases for either side, however, it’s going to come to whatever team shows up and wants it more. It should be a tactical chess match and an emotional effort from both sides. The Rowdies may have prevailed in the previous two playoff encounters, but I’m hopeful it’ll change this year! Vamos Morados!

Parting Thoughts

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