After earning three points with a win at Saint Louis Saturday night, Louisville City FC traveled to Nashville Sunday to begin preparing for Tuesday night’s showdown with Nashville SC.
“It is a short turn-around so we have to focus on our regeneration process,” Louisville City coach John Hackworth said. “We have to make sure we are doing everything we can to get our bodies right for Tuesday night.”
LouCity’s prep for Tuesday is far more than rest and regeneration. The club brought extra players on the road to make sure they could have a fresh 18 Tuesday night as well.
LouCity’s showdown with Nashville in First Tennessee Park is a key matchup for seeding in the Eastern Conference Playoffs. Both clubs have already clinched playoff spots, with Nashville currently sitting in third and LouCity in sixth, but both would like to improve their positions in the final three games of the regular season.
If Nashville can move up to second or first, they’d be assured of more home games in the playoffs. If LouCity can move from sixth to fourth, the club would be able to host a second-round playoff game instead of go on the road.
Nashville SC has 58 points with three games to play. Louisville City has 54 points with three games to play. The top two teams in the league are Pittsburgh with 62 points and Indy Eleven with 59. Both have just two games left.
Louisville City is arguably the hottest team in the East. The Boys in Purple haven’t lost since July and have won seven of the 10 games during that stretch.
“It starts with defense,” Louisville City defender Pat McMahon said. “We focused on locking down our defense, particularly early in the game, so that we didn’t give up an early goal.”
Louisville City had a stretch of games during June and July where they gave up the first goal. This put tremendous pressure on the LouCity to come back in game after game.
But on Aug. 3, Louisville City opened the match in a more defensive posture. Their typical LouCity pressing style that won back-to-back USL Championship Titles, needed to be altered to fit this year’s team more effectively.
With McMahon and fellow defender Sean Totsch in the lineup more frequently, LouCity got a win at Charlotte on Aug. 3, then beat Atlanta United 2 5-1 on Aug. 11, beat Charleston Battery 2-1 on Aug. 17, and finished the run with a 1-0 win over North Carolina FC on Aug. 24.
As for Nashville, the club is 3-1--1 in its last five matches, with the last win coming on Sept. 28 at Loudoun United.
Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. Eastern. The game will be televised locally on MyTV-58 with Tyler Terens and Devon Kerr. The game will be streamed on ESPN+ in America and on YouTube worldwide.
The radio broadcast will be on 790 KRD and feature Kevin Kernen (play-by-play) and Howie Lindsey (color analyst).