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Takeaways: 'Great rivalry' game ahead for LouCity in Cincinnati

By Stephanie Fraley / Louisville City FC, 04/19/17, 2:30PM EDT

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Both sides of the River Cities Cup have former players from the other heading into Saturday.


EM Dash Photography

Louisville City FC's supporters have no doubt had a two-game stretch of the 2017 season circled, first with anticipated Eastern Conference contender Tampa Bay before rival FC Cincinnati.

But coach James O'Connor's focus is always on the next game -- and only that game. Following a 2-1 win over the Rowdies, he was finally able to speak on Cincinnati ahead of a 7 p.m. Saturday matchup at Nippert Stadium.

“It’ll be a very tough game for us,” O'Connor told reporters at his regular weekly press conference. “Intimidating atmosphere, but again a game we all look forward to. Great rivalry. Our supporters will be up there again. Hopefully in lots of numbers.”

FC Cincinnati drew a USL-record crowd for a season opener last Saturday when 23,144 witnessed a 4-0 win over Saint Louis FC. To add, former LouCity midfielders Aodhan Quinn and Kadeem Dacres now feature for the club’s River Cities Cup rival.

“It’ll be lovely to see Quinn and Kadeem,” O’Connor said. “They’re two lads I really like and I wish them both all the very best. As I’ve said to them, just not when they’re playing us. It’s the same for them. They’ll wish you all the best, just not when we’re playing each other.”

(Update: Dacres received a straight red card Wednesday night and will not play against LouCity. Quinn rested and is expected to start.)

LouCity had the same scenario play out when striker Luke Spencer made the move from his hometown club to Louisville.

“I’m sure for Luke it’ll be nice to go back,” O’Connor said.

Two weeks ago, former Richmond Kickers standouts Brian Ownby and George Davis IV suited up for LouCity in Virginia. Conor Shanosky, a former LouCity player, is now the Kickers’ captain.

“I think as we start to develop as a club things like this will happen more and more,” O’Connor said.

Here’s more from O’Connor’s meeting with the media…

• On Speedy Williams’ sub out of the Rowdies game: “We had a chat this morning. He’s in less pain now then he was, so we’ll just have to wait and see how that goes. We’re hopeful that won’t be anything too serious.”

• On facing a club with a large roster like FC Cincinnati: “The biggest thing for us always at this stage of the season is making sure our training is on point and we’re focusing on the things we can control. We can’t really control what happens in Cincinnati. How we train and how we prepare for games is what we need to focus on.”

• On George Davis IV’s recent production: “When you look at his work ethic, his contribution to the game, and his goal, the goal alone is a major contribution. But when you look at his overall contribution, it was fantastic. I think his intensity to his work is great, so we’ve been really, really pleased with George. He’s a great role model for everybody in the changing room. He trains really well and does all of the things that we ask of him. Really pleased with him to see him playing so well. Really, really happy with George.”