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What to Watch For: USL Cup Final

By Alexis Chevalier, 11/13/17, 9:00AM EST

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What you need to know ahead of Monday night's cup final

LouCity hosts Western Conference champion Swope Park Rangers for the USL Cup Finals Monday, November 13th at 9:00 p.m. E.T.

Here’s what to watch for…

Tune-In

TV: ESPNU will air the game live and in high definition nationally.

Radio: T.J. Walker (play-by-play) and Jeff Milby (color commentary) will voice the action on Radio 790 WKRD with pregame coverage starting at 8:45 p.m.

Streaming: Watch at LouCity.com

 

Follow Along

For Starting XI information and in-game updates, check us out on social media. It’s @loucityfc on Twitter, Louisville City FC on Facebook and @louisvillecityfc on Instagram. Live stats are available at the USL Match Center. Vote for the Man of the Match on Twitter starting in the 75th minute.

 

Links

- Drama of Eastern Conference Final a Microcosm of 2017 Season
- Defender Paco Craig named to 2017 USL All-League First Team

 

Notes

LouCity Playoff History: In their third season competing in the USL and for the first time in club history, Louisville City advances to the USL Cup Final. After being knocked out in the Eastern Conference Finals the past two years, LouCity defeated the New York Red Bulls II on penalty kicks to secure their first trip to the finals.

Eastern Conference Finals Recap: No. 1-seed Louisville City defeated the No. 7-seed and defending USL Cup champion New York Red Bulls II, 4-3, in a shootout after the teams had played to a 1-1 draw through regulation and extra time. In the rematch of the 2016 Eastern Conference Finals, Greg Ranjitsingh recorded saves in the fourth and fifth round of the shootout as LouCity rallied back to eliminate the Red Bulls II.

Scouting Swope Park: Swope Park Rangers come to Louisville as Western Conference champions for the second consecutive season. Rangers are known as a second-half team, scoring 37 goals in the second half during the regular season, second in the USL in that category.

Goalkeeper Adrian Zendejas has recorded two shutouts in the playoffs; Kharlton Belmar leads Swope Park’s offense with 15 goals this season.

Craig named to All-USL Team: Defender Paco Craig was named to the USL’s All-League First Team Wednesday. Craig has had 71 interceptions and 112 clearances in 24 games for Louisville. In addition, Craig leads LouCity in blocks at 13, while also managing to score two goals and record two assists during the 2017 season. Craig was previously named to USL’s Team of the Week in Week 19 earlier this season.

Ownby in playoff stride: Brian Ownby, a four-time USL Team of the Week honoree in the first half of the season, has found his stride for Louisville City in the playoffs both as a starter and sub off the bench. Scoring three times in three games, Ownby has scored twice as a substitute in the second half and once in the first half as a starter through the 2017 playoffs.

Ranjitsingh stays hot: In a playoff run that began with two consecutive clean sheets, Greg Ranjitsingh conceded his first and only goal of the 2017 USL Cup Playoffs against the New York Red Bulls II. Despite the goal, Ranjitsingh racked up four saves, followed by two in penalty kicks that secured the victory for the boys in purple. Ranjitsingh declined his invitation to the Trinidad and Tobago National Team to remain with LouCity for the finals.

Home field advantage: After clinching the top seed in the Eastern Conference during the regular season, Louisville City earned hosting privileges through the playoffs. Now, after hosting the Eastern Conference finals at Slugger Field for the first time in front of a crowd of 10,047, Slugger Field will host the USL Cup Finals on Monday night.

Hometown kid sends LouCity to finals: Louisville native Richard Ballard had a heroic moment Saturday night most professional athletes can only dream about. In front of his hometown at Slugger Field, just three miles from where he played high school soccer, Ballard launched the final penalty kick past the Red Bulls II keeper to send Louisville City to the USL Cup finals. To compound his effort in the Eastern Conference Finals, the first-year player is up for USL Rookie of the Year.

Finals appearance shows lessons learned: In a season that started with LouCity scoring just eight goals in eight games before hitting their offensive stride, the "Boys in Purple" showed Saturday that they have not forgotten what they’ve learned over the season. Resiliency, keeping a tight defense, and finding their ability to push through and get a result is often what was preached by coach James O’Connor, and it was never more apparent than in the club's win on penalty kicks last Saturday night.