Louisville City fans elected Abdou Thiam as Dr. Mark Lynn and Associates/Visionworks Man of the Match for his performance vs. Indy Eleven Friday night.
Thiam, who came in as a substitute in the second half, made an instant impact, scoring the equalizing goal on a header.
“I knew my chance was going to come," Thiam said. "Even before coming in, Coach was telling me, ‘You’re going to have a chance. Just focus. You just need to finish it’ and if you look at the last game, I had chances. I used to be unlucky but today I was lucky to put it in.”
Louisville City coach John Hackworth brought Thiam in and paired him with Luke Spencer, altering the formation to put more pressure on Indy Eleven.
“We changed the system and we played 3-5-2 and he was looking at me up top, Look at that game, we had to come back," Thiam said. "It wasn’t an option, but we had to come back. All week, we were fighting together because we knew the game was going to be tough. We didn’t expect that it was going to be an easy game. We know from now there is no easy game anymore. We just need to fight and to be honest, we didn’t play the way we wanted to play but we fought the whole second half.”
Indy Eleven had only allowed 17 goals for the entire season. And Indy's early goal made Louisville City's task even tougher. Thiam said Louisville City remained confident because of the leaders on the team.
“To be honest, if you look around the team we have good leaders like Luke [Spencer], George [Davis IV] and Napo [Matsoso]," Thiam said. "All the guys can lead the team. We have the same mindset. We knew the only way to success with this game is to fight and stay together the whole game. I think we did good and all the guys make all our jobs easier because they hold the team and they really lead us where we want to go.”
Louisville City will go on the road to face the Pittsburgh Riverhounds next in Pittsburgh as the Boys in Purple continue their quest to move up the Eastern Conference table.