A short-handed Louisville City squad beat Hartford Athletic 2-1 Saturday night in Louisville City's home opener.
“Some of it was injuries we have, some of it was international call-ups and some of it we just felt like against Hartford and what we’d seen of them," Louisville coach John Hackworth said. "We could take advantage of some spaces and rolling out the system that we did and playing that way. But I do think it’s really important early in the year to get guys minutes – match minutes specifically – because, I’ve said it before, I think we’re deep and we’re going to have to call upon our roster at times this year. So the more guys get minutes, it’s valuable.”
Louisville City had 18 available players after three players were called up to international competition and two more are recovering from injury. City was also missing captain midfielder Paolo delPiccolo who sat out with a nagging injury.
It was Hartford getting on the board first, scoring on their first meaningful possession of the game on a right-footed shot inside the six-yard box by Jonathan Brown in the sixth minute.
Louisville City struck back just over seven minutes late when Magnus Rasmussen left a ball for Luke Spencer who rocketed the ball into the bottom left hand corner of the net for the equalizer.
Went into Mag (Magnus Rasmussen), Mag laid it off brilliantly for me and I was in the hole today," Spencer said. "I was able to be patient, connect well with it and it felt good to see the ball go in the back of the net.”
Then City pulled ahead in the 33rd minute when a mistake by Hartford led to a breakway by Brian Ownby down the right side of the field. Ownby's shot on goal caromed off Hartford Athletic's Sem deWit and into the goal to put City ahead.
Louisville City improved to 2-1 on the season with six total points after three matches. Our Boys in Purple spent the first two weeks of the season on the road before returning home for a three-game home stand.
“It was nice. Short commute obviously," Spencer said. "We don’t have to travel. To have the support from the fans, especially in the last 10 minutes when you’re trying to dig deep and you’re hearing them, it really does provide that energy that we need.”