Louisville City veteran Luke Spencer scored the equalizer in the 77' to lift LouCity to a 1-1 draw with a newly invigorated Charlotte Independence.
“It was a good ball put in the box from the start," Spencer said of the goal. "I knew there was going to be a lot of service because we were down so I just had to be aggressive and attack the ball. So I went up for it. I saw that it fell down in a good area and figured I could get a good shot off.”
Spencer, who came on as a substitute in the 59', started causing immediate problems for Charlotte's back line. The Independence had scored on their first real chance of the game back in the 12' and had settled into a deep block ever since.
“I think the first ten minutes, we were having a lot of success and we were really confident and then I think their first attack they score," Spencer said. "Then they get confidence and take it away from us. Now it changes things mentally a little bit, but I thought the second half, we were able to regroup and come out there a confident team and get a goal and take a point away from them.”
Spencer used his height and physicality to counter-act Charlotte's packed-in defense for the equalizing goal.
“That’s what goal scorers do," Louisville City coach John Hackworth said. "He has good instincts in the box, and excellent ability. And we’ve seen him do that time and time again, so thank goodness he did that for us tonight.”
Spencer's goal gave Louisville hope of gaining the three points for a win, but Louisville City couldn't score on several chances in the final 15 minutes of the match.
"Unfortunately, we didn’t get back into the game early enough," Hackworth said. "It took us until after half and making a lot of changes to do that. Credit to Charlotte. They’ve got a new coach, a new system. You know, I’ve said it all week long. They have a really good roster, a lot of former MLS guys on that team right now. It’s not like we were playing a team that all the fans probably expected to see. We weren’t. We were playing a team that has a new system, new belief, and it showed tonight.”
Charlotte fired coach Jim McGuinness after a woeful start that saw just one win in the first 13 matches. Mike Jeffries, the General Manager and former head coach, took over the role and since then Charlotte has been playing better soccer, defeating Birmingham Legion 4-1 before Saturday's match vs. Louisville City.
Charlotte's goal was by former MLS veteran Dominic Oduro in the 12' when Louisville City's back line was pushed forward helping as LouCity peppered the goal with scoring chances early on.
“We really were unbalanced, got stretched," Hackworth explained. "A couple of guys were dropping when they should’ve been stepping and we just opened up some space for them to attack, and unfortunately we were on two different pages how we were going to defend that. And it was early in the game, their first foray at all down the field."
Louisville City will travel to rival Indy Eleven next Saturday in the latest installment of the LIPAFC.
12’ – CLT Dominic Oduro (assist by Joel Johnson), 0-1
77’ – LOU Luke Spencer, 1-1