Next Match – Tampa Bay Rowdies vs Louisville City – 06/04/2022
After a few bumps in the road ending their unbeaten streak, Louisville City got a needed win against Tulsa. However, the team will have to move on quickly as their next opponent will require as much prep time as possible. It’s the long-awaited Tampa Bay Rowdies matchup. LouCity will be heading to St. Petersburg for a shot to redeem themselves for the painful 2021 playoff exit.
The St. Pete Rowdies may only be sitting in 6th in the Eastern Conference, however, they are still very much a threat. So much so, that FiveThirtyEight has them with a 95% chance to make the playoffs and a 10% chance to win it all (only behind San Antonio’s 23% and LouCity’s 13%). They have scored an impressive 1.8 goals a match (6th) while firing off a lot of shots per match (4.8, 9th), and creating a ton of chances (29, 2nd). Defensively, they are not bad either. They have only allowed 1.1 goals a match (10th).
There is a lot of talent on their roster. The three that I will focus on are Jake LaCava, Leo Fernandes, and Lewis Hilton. LaCava is a newcomer having previously played with the Baby Bulls. In 12 matches (9 starts), he has found the net a team-leading six times and also has two assists to his name. He also lays claim to the second-most shots on target per match (1.4) and the third-highest player rating (7.35). Fernandes has been around the Rowdies for a while now. In this campaign, he has amassed two goals and three assists while creating the most big chances (seven) and the second-highest player rating (7.40). Hilton is a familiar face as well. He has two goals and two assists along with the mist chances created (19) and the highest player rating (7.55). I also feel compelled to call out that they have former LouCity players Kyle Greig and Lucky Mkosana. Let’s hope that Lucky is omitted from the 18 from this match…
This is a rare occurrence where Louisville is the underdog. FiveThirtyEight has Rowdies with a 44% chance to win compared to LouCity’s 30%. One thing going in Louisville’s favor is that the Rowdies have a midweek match against Tulsa (that has yet to be played as of this writing). Fingers crossed that Tulsa wears them out and gives them a hard time. One downside is that Morados will be without Josh Wynder. Regardless, we know the staff has had this match circled on the calendar for a while and will have the team prepared. Let’s hope they bring their A-game and secure some tough points on the road!
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Be sure to check out my assessment of LouCity's start to the season as well as my feature on Josh Wynder!
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