In the first King’s Cup match of 2019 featuring Louisville City and St. Louis FC , midfielder Oscar Jimenez’s service and skillset earned the fans’ vote for Visionworks Man of the Match. The Washington-native played a key role on City’s offensive side of the pitch, lifting a total of 10 corner kicks through the full 90.
“It was difficult to get it in the goal. You’ve got to give credit to St. Louis because you look at their past results, they are a very resilient team,” said Jimenez. “They’re really hard to score against. They have really clean sheets.”
Facing a stingy, stout St. Louis back line which conceded just 6 goals entering the match and featured the likes of former LouCity players Sean Reynolds and Guy Abend, Jimenez and crew spent the majority of the match’s first 30 minutes creating a number of scoring opportunities. None of those chances concluded in goal scoring.
“A few times, we caught [Sam Fink] off balance. Those were also the times we created really good opportunities, and that's when you have to put them in the goal,” said Jimenez. “It’s not very often a team that is that organized lets chances like that happen.”
Both sides entered the break knotted at 0-0. With a similar approach to the first half, the home side dominated time of possession and opportunities came in flurries yet the Boys in Purple were still unable to slip one past St. Louis ‘keeper Jake Fenlason.
“With this team here, you are always coming out expecting to win every game. 0-0, 85th minute, everyone is tired, you’re still up, doesn’t matter. We’re going for the win,” added the Western Washington University graduate. “We’re not trying to sit back and get this tie. We’re not about that. We’re about winning.”
The last play of Saturday’s match featured the final corner from a busy Jimenez yet ended with a Fenlason punchout and a clean sheet for both clubs. Though the chance for Louisville City to make a major leap in the league’s table came to a 0-0 draw, Jimenez says he is still honored to have played such a key role in front of a club-record crowd for the month of May.
“I want to thank the fans for voting me Man of the Match. I am trying to work as hard as I can for my teammates,” said Jimenez. “If that gives me Man of the Match or I do well that's fantastic.”