After Saturday's match against North Carolina FC was postponed due to field conditions, the "Boys in Purple" are set to go again when the Tampa Bay Rowdies come to town. Though head coach James O'Connor was understanding of the decision to postpone, he noted that his side's workload would not change but rather see a tweak in plans moving forward this week.
"For us, the biggest thing now is figuring out training and adjusting from there," he said. "We had so much rain and that was our biggest challenge. This week, having had more rain, the workload we’ll be the same but we’ll have to adjust slightly to the conditions again."
The Rowdies come into the match coming off back-to-back victories over North Carolina FC and Bethlehem Steel FC. Scoring five goals in their two matches, Georgi Hristov and Leo Fernandes were on the scoresheet twice in two weeks, while midfielder Jack Blake has also tallied one on the year.
The Rowdies sit second in the Eastern Conference, and O'Connor was quick to recognize the threat his side faces against the opposition attack.
"When you look at Tampa, the caliber of player that they’ve got—they’ve got two players that have competed in the Champions League and were full internationals for big soccer nations in England and in Germany," said O'Connor. "So, when you look at the caliber of Tampa’s players, their definitely different than the majority of USL teams. We will see on Saturday."
What was supposed to be their third straight home contest to kick off the season, LouCity will instead close their two-match homestand against the Rowdies on Saturday.
O'Connor's men opened the year with a 2-0 win over Nashville SC but sit fourth in the current Eastern Conference standings with a game in-hand. However, with the USL recently placing LouCity #1 in their league power rankings, Saturday's match is sure to help settle who will rise as an early favorite in the conference.
Only midfielder Brian Ownby (illness) is still recovering, meaning O'Connor should have few selection issues this weekend should this week's training sessions yield no further issues.
Defender Alexis Souahy and attacker Ilija Ilic had previously been held out as a precaution but should be available without issue, leaving another selection headache for the gaffer ahead of an early, tough test for LouCity.