An authoritative win over Miami FC at home on Saturday has left Louisville City fans thrilled with the team's early-season performance. While we are only entering match week three, even John Morrissey is willing to go as far as saying that “this Louisville team feels unstoppable right now.” LouCity’s next hurdle will be hitting the road for their first away match for a weekday matchup against New York Red Bulls 2. Historically, this has been an interesting opponent for Louisville, however, there is reason to think they may not be the same foe we came to know in the club's early USL days.
The 2021 edition of the Baby Bulls left a lot to be desired. They were 7th in the eight-team Atlantic Division, only beating out fellow MLS feeder team, Loudoun United. 2022 hasn’t been much more kind to NYRB2. They have scraped out a 1-0 win over Atlanta United 2 but suffered a 2-0 loss to Miami FC and a 3-0 loss to a surprising Loudoun. Their 2nd leading scorer and assist leader from 2021, Jeremy Rafanello, is back this season along with Juan Castillo, who was tied for 3rd most assist. The returning Samuel Williams has had a strong start with an average FotMob player rating of 7.49. Newcomer O’Vonte Mullings is right behind him with a rating of 7.22. Unfortunately, that's all this 2022 edition of the squad has going for them at the moment. John Morrissey’s 24th of 27 power ranking doesn’t inspire confidence that this will be the team to stop LouCity. Oh darn :).
While NY may only be an ATL Jr caliber of opponent, they will be operating on short rest and outside of Lynn Family Stadium for the first time in the regular season. Away matches were problematic last season, so it will be interesting to see if they can start off with a positive away record. FiveThirtyEight is still giving City a 58% chance to grab all three points with NYRB with a paltry 19% chance to hand Morados their first loss. The first two matches featured the same starting eleven and bench. Coach Cruz didn’t provide any details if rotation for this one could be expected, but given that an important Indy rivalry match is only a few days after, it’s not an impossible thought. It’s a long season, and he has expressed confidence in every player on the roster, so why not? Confidence is high with everyone surrounding the club. Here’s to another three points and keeping up the positive momentum into the next LIPAFC!
Have a friend just getting into LouCity soccer? Be sure to send them the Introduction To Louisville City link to give them a point of reference to learn about the club and league.