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  • Writer's pictureBenton

Next Match – Sacramento Republic vs Louisville City – 04/01/2023

The first two matches went well for Louisville City, but the momentum was derailed when the El Paso Locomotive came rolling into town. A humbling 3-0 loss was a stark reminder that anyone can win on any given day. There is little time to dwell on the spoiled home opener as the boys in purple are heading back to California to take on one of the best in the west, Sacramento Republic.

Morados played and beat Sac Republic last season but it was only a few days before their US Open Cup Finals appearance, so one would have to imagine they may have been saving their best effort for that. They have started this season with wins over El Paso and the San Diego Loyal and a draw to Charleston. Their xPts/G are currently amongst the best in the league. Small sample size, but still an early sign of a good team.

Luis Felipe Fernandes, Rodrigo López, and Russell Cicerone are all players to keep an eye out for on the opposition. Fernandes has enjoyed a great start to his 2023 season with SAC. One goal (T-1st) with 0.8 shots on target per 90 (T-1st). López was a problem for opposing teams in 2022 racking up 8 goals (T-1st), 9 assists (1st) (with 1 this season already), 65 chances created (1st) (currently leads his team in 2023), 10 big chances (T-1st), and a team-high player rating of 7.70. He didn’t appear in the Louisville match last season, so he will be a new challenge to face. Unlike López, Cicerone is very much a known entity. The former PIT/STL/Cincy man has proven to be a good addition as he has already found a goal and has the 2nd most chances created, most big chances, and has a stellar 7.67 player rating (3rd).

This will be a tight one, according to FiveThirtyEight. 38% for LouCity and 33% for Sac Republic. Will Sac playing at home give them the edge or will LouCity’s recent loss be a catalyst for a top-tier performance? It’s anyone’s ballgame as both teams will fight tooth and nail to help shape the tone of their 2023 campaign. Louisville City has a tough stretch awaiting them following this match (vs DET, vs SA, at CHS) so an inspiring win would certainly be welcomed! Vamos Morados!

Parting Thoughts

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