Next Match – Sporting Kansas City 2 vs Louisville City – 07/02/2021
It's Friday night lights in the Sunflower state! Louisville City FC are packing up their bags and heading west to take on familiar foes in Sporting Kansas City 2. LouCity has won five of the last seven encounters against the formerly-named Swope Park Rangers which includes a 4-1 win last August. Morados was on a bit of a hot steak (and trending well overall) until the most recent LIPAFC which ended 3-3. It was a draw that felt like a loss, so the boys in purple will look for a little redemption. What better way to do that than beat up on a MLS 2 team!
SKC2 only has 10 points to their name after 12 matches with a goal differential of -7. They sit in 7th in the Central Division. They have lost three of their last five matches. Their latest match was a win, however, it is over the worst team in the division, Memphis 901. They are scoring 1.3 goals a match (12th) and conceding 1.8 per match (27th). Between that, their mediocre 4.3 shots on target a match (13th), and their sub-50% possession average, there is not a lot of positives to write home about.
We generally know these MLS 2 teams more for their individual talent rather than collective success. Enoch Mushagalusa, Grayson Barber, and Jacob Davis are three names to look out for. Mushagalusa was on the 2020 Swope roster but seems to have hit his stride this season. The 21-year-old Colorado Rapids Academy product leads his team for both goals (four) and player rating (7.17) and has an assist to his name as well. Barber, a homegrown player, has one goal, two assists, and the second-best player rating with 7.09 in his first season. Davis, another homegrown player, is now in his third season with the club and has secured two assists, an average player rating of 6.88 (3rd on the team), a team-leading 14 key passes this season, and 15 created chances (tied 15th). Whew, quite a bit of productivity. Their roster is deep so there may be other talents who have yet to be seen (or seen enough).
So what do the analytical minds at FiveThirtyEight think LouCity’s odds are of grabbing the win on the road? 57% with a 23% chance for a draw. The LIPAFC draw left a foul taste in everyone’s mouth so the squad certainly has an incentive to get something out of this Friday night affair. If City can play the game, they are capable of playing, Coach Cruz and the gang will walk out of there with all three points in hand.
If you have not done so already, check out my recent piece on the academy and injection of youth the first team could see sooner than later. Also, be sure to check out the Vamos Morados Podcast! Yep, you read that right! I’m in the podcasting game now. Episode 1 is out now for your consumption and features Jonathan Gomez!