When Louisville City FC takes on Loudoun United Sunday night at Audi Field, the stadium likely won’t be the only thing that appears like an MLS club, some of the players might be as well.
“Very similar to Bethlehem Steel,” Louisville City coach John Hackworth said. “Anytime you are playing an MLS team, you deal with professional players that are on the younger side, but they are not in that club unless they have a lot of quality and a lot of potential to be in the first team. With Bethlehem Steel, you saw a bunch of guys who played with the first team that played in Slugger the other night. And I think we will have the same thing when we go to Audi Field because we will see a bunch of DC United players mixed in with young guys. So, it’s the same kind of presentation for us.”
Figuring out opposing lineups can be tricky when facing MLS affiliated USL Championship teams, but Hackworth said Louisville City must focus on bringing home three points from its DC road trip.
“We have to control what we can,” Hackworth said. “I still think our quality and our experience should come but it can’t come out if we don’t bring the effort and mentality that we are continually talking about.”
Louisville City fell 1-0 to Bethlehem Steel last Saturday. The Boys in Purple surrendered a goal to their opponents for the seventh match in a row, a trend Hackworth wants to see end.
“Trying to get our intensity, our mentality right from the very start so that we start at our maximum and we finish at our maximum,” Hackworth said. “Obviously, you have to manage the match, but when it comes to the intensity and mentality. I think if we control us playing at 100 percent of that effort, 100 percent of our focus and concentration, that’s where we’ve made mistake this year.”
Goalkeeper Chris Hubbard said he likes what he has seen from his teammates so far this week in training.
“It was a frustrating result, that’s for sure, but everybody came out here and put their work in today,” Hubbard said. “Really high intensity, good quality, so it was the right response. We just gotta carry in through the rest of the week and into Sunday.”
Hackworth said he wants to see his team carry over their intensity from training to the game field.
“I’ve said this before; this is a great group of guys to work with and they are great to work with because they bring such a positive mentality to how they train and how they work,” Hackworth said. “We just have to bring the same thing to games. The unfortunate thing is, I think our fans and obviously when you are in this sport on the Saturdays or Sundays whatever the match day is, that’s the time where the spotlight is on you and everyone gets to have a judgement and perception. For me, that start of the game against Bethlehem Steel was not indicative of what these men are capable of and what they do on a daily basis.”
Louisville City and Loudoun United kick off at 7:30 p.m. at Audi Field. The game will be broadcast locally on WBKI and streamed online on ESPN+.
The radio broadcast with Kevin Kernen and Jeff Greer will be on 840 WHAS starting at 6:45, originating from the LouCity Watch Party at El Nopal Blankenbaker.