Louisville City FC, the two-time defending USL Championship Title Winners, moved up into the top four seeds on the final day of the regular season and will host Tampa Bay Saturday night at Slugger Field.
The baseball stadium, Louisville City's home since its launch in 2015, will return to being a baseball-specific venue at the end of the 2019 season, but not before LouCity hosts (at least) one more soccer match on its grass-turf hybrid field. The match begins at 7 p.m. on Saturday night.
LouCity coach John Hackworth said there's something special about playoff games in Slugger Field.
"The playoffs are a completely different thing," Hackworth told Nick Coffey on 790 KRD Thursday morning. "There will be a winner, there will be a loser and there’s no tomorrow... so the intensity starts from the very beginning. You can feel it.”
The intensity of USL Championship Playoff soccer started Wednesday night with the league's new playoff structure. The bottom four seeds in the East and West battled Wednesday night in play-in games, hosted at the better-seeded team's home stadium.
The 9th-seeded Charleston Battery upset 8th seeded Ottawa Fury in Ottawa 1-1 (5-4) and 10th-seeded Birmingham Legion beat 7-seed North Carolina 3-2 in the 90+3' minute in the play-in games in the Eastern Conference. That means Saturday's Quarterfinal Round is set with top-seeded Pittsburgh hosting Birmingham, 2nd-seeded Nashville hosting Charleston, LouCity hosting Tampa Bay and Indy Eleven, the 3 seed, hosting 6th-seeded New York Red Bulls II.
Tickets for LouCity's match with Tampa Bay are available here: LOUvTBR on SeatGeek