Louisville City FC's captain, Aodhan Quinn, looks back at the end of July and now considers it only "a little rough patch." The club has since bounced back from consecutive losses for the only time this season to solidify its spot near the top of the USL's Eastern Conference standings.
Saturday added to LouCity's resurgence, as Quinn headed in a 49th-minute corner kick, and goalkeeper Tim Dobrowolski posted a clean sheet in his professional debut to lift Louisville City FC to a 1-0 win at FC Montreal.
The victory marked LouCity's second in a row and improved the club to 3-1-2 in games since Aug. 1. Only three more remain before the playoffs.
"I think we're back on track now and in good form, which is exactly what every team wants," Quinn said.
On a sunny afternoon at Complexe sportif Claude-Robillard, LouCity managed to shut down an FC Montreal team that entered having won four of its last five games. The home squad combined to tally 16 goals in those contests before shut out Saturday.
Dobrowolski, a Loyola-Chicago product who signed with Louisville in June, played the full 90 minutes between the posts. Coach James O'Connor had also brought in recently retired keeper Scott Goodwin -- he's now enrolled at Harvard Medical School -- as an option with regular starter Greg Ranjitsingh on international duty with Trinidad and Tobago.
Goodwin said he'd fill in again "in a heartbeat," but on Saturday there was no need for the emergency backup. Dobrowolski came up with his biggest save in stoppage time near the end of the first half, thwarting an FC Montreal strike on goal. Out of the locker room, LouCity netted a go-ahead shot of its own when Ben Newnam found Quinn on the far post for the midfielder's third goal of 2016.
"I was obviously pleased with the performance," said coach James O'Connor. "I thought we dominated the game. We controlled it for long periods. I just thought our decision making in the final third needed to be better. I thought we got into some decent positions. We could have won the game by more if I'm being honest. I thought we deserved to win the game by more."
Aside from the goal-scoring play, LouCity had other chances, namely a 23rd-minute cross from Quinn to defender Tarek Morad, who stepped in well to the central midfield on Saturday rather than along the back row. Morad's try bounced off the right post.
In the 47th minute, Mark-Anthony Kaye also played a ball through to striker Chandler Hoffman. The forward nearly ended his recent scoring drought, but Montreal's keeper came up big, deflecting the shot with his foot.
Ultimately, LouCity didn't need a second goal to move nine points clear of the third-place Charleston Battery on the table. Wearing their gold and white road kits, LouCity players also remained unbeaten in the new alternate jerseys this season.
Goodwin, who last played in a July 4 win over FC Montreal at Slugger Field, took it in from the sidelines.
"If it's feasible for me, I'm always going to be there to help the team whenever I can," he said. "I'm very pleased that James thought of me to come be that extra guy.
"...I'd do anything for these guys."
Match: FC Montreal vs. Louisville City FC
Date: Sept. 3, 2016
Venue: Complexe sportif Claude-Robillard
Kickoff: 3 p.m.
Weather: Mostly sunny
Man of the Match: Aodhan Quinn
Louisville City FC (0, 1, 1)
FC Montreal (0, 0, 0)
Louisville City FC: 28-Tim Dobrowolski, 24-Kyle Smith, 15-Sean Reynolds, 18-Paco Craig, 2-Ben Newnam, 6-Tarek Morad, 4-Aodhan Quinn, 7-Kadeem Dacres (72' 22-George Davis IV), 10-Magnus Rasmussen, 12-Mark-Anthony Kaye (78' 77-Andrew Lubahn), 17-Chandler Hoffman (82' 9-Cameron Lancaster).
Subs not used: 1-Scott Goodwin, 11-Niall McCabe, 14-Ilija Ilic, 20-Enrique Montano.
Head coach: James O’Connor
FC Montreal: 70-Davis Paulmin, 59-Aron Mkungilwa, 74-Mele Temguia (46' 77-Brandon Onkony), 26-Kyle Fisher, 66-Janouk Charbonneau, 58-Louis Beland-Goyette, 28-Jeremy Gagnon-Lapare (70' 46-Philippe Lincourt-Joseph), 49-Alessandro Riggi, 48-Heikel Jarras (82' 87-Badreddine Boulajoul), 73-Zachary Sukunda (70' 57-Yacine Ait-Slimane), 24-Anthony Jackson-Hamel.
Subs not used: 65-Luca Leone, 42-Nevele Yoseke, 69-Jems Geffrard.
Head coach: Simon Gatti (acting coach for Philippe Eullaffroy, sent off in FC Montreal's last game)
Referee: Robert Schaap
Assistant Referee 1: Marie-Han Gagnon Chretien
Assistant Referee 2: Andre Pickler
4th Official: Pierre-Luc Lauziere