Louisville City FC is looking to find the team's form again after the first full week of preparation since the beginning of June. City's first match under the guidance of interim coaches George Davis IV, Paolo DelPiccolo, and Luke Spencer sees them pitted up against the Rowdies for the second time and final time in the 2018 season.
When & Where
LouCity travels to St Petersburg for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff against the Tampa Bay Rowdies at Al Lang Stadium.
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Last Time Out
An emotional night at Slugger Field resulted in Louisville City FC earning a point following a 3-3 draw with New York Red Bulls II for James O’Connor’s final match in charge.
City started fast with a stunning goal from Cameron Lancaster in the 9th minute, and the forward doubled his tally and City's lead in the 36th minute.
However, three unanswered goals by Red Bulls II in the second half--including a late potential go-ahead goal in the 87th minute--had the visitors in front.
Embodying the "never say die" attitude that O'Connor's sides have carried since the beginning, though, City would find a late equalizer via a Magnus Rasmussen header in stoppage time. The 3-3 draw marked City's fourth draw in their last five USL matches.
Rewind against the Tampa Bay Rowdies
Louisville City FC defeated the Tampa Bay Rowdies, 1-0, thanks to a goal from Oscar Jimenez in the 69th minute.
In a first half of relatively few chances, LouCity 'netminder Greg Ranjitsingh and the backline in front did well to keep the Rowdies attack at bay. LouCity and Tampa Bay went scoreless into the break.
The game's lone goal came in the 69th minute. As captain Paolo DelPiccolo rolled a ball across the 18-yard box, Jimenez was in perfect position to curl an effort past Mizell and put LouCity in front. The goal was just LouCity's third in 2018--Jimenez's first--as Spencer and McCabe scored in the season opener against Nashville SC. The assist was also PdP's first on the year.
At the death, the Rowdies earned a series of corners that would test the team's solidity, though all were repelled. In the end, a one-goal advantage would be enough and LouCity earned all three points.
Kentucky Lottery Kees to the Game
LouCity looks for its first league win since late May when it hits the road to face the Rowdies on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in St. Petersburg. Check out the KY Lottery Kees to the Game for #TBRvLOU:
Interim coach Luke Spencer's pre-match quotes:
On what the first week has been like:
“I'm trying to look at the positives. It’s a really great opportunity for us to go and show what great players we have and go and express ourselves on the field.”
On Paulo's voice and message, and if it's changed:
“Not really. We try to stay as consistent as possible. Paolo’s main leadership qualities come out when he's playing and guys respect that. So, we're really going to be looking for him on Saturday to keep doing what he's doing and to be the captain that he's been all year.”
On if this has brought the team closer:
“Yeah, definitely. Definitely. You know when you go to something like this it can separate you further apart or could bring you closer together. We've had a real focus and emphasis on bringing each other closer together and strengthening the group.”
On if it helped to put egos in check that everyone's on the same page:
“I don't really think we had any egos to begin with, so in that regard, nothing changes.”
On Tampa, their recent player-coach transition, and if he’s learned anything:
“Not really. We've looked at them, seen their performances, seen who they’ve put out there. But we're really focused on ourselves, trying to control we can control, and give our best performance.”
OUT - Luke Spencer (knee)
OUT - Richard Ballard (stress fracture)