Louisville City FC faces Toronto FC II in their final road trip of the year on Friday, looking for revenge after the Reds found a 4-1 victory at Slugger Field at the end of August.
City's final stretch of games pits them first against Toronto before home matches against playoff contenders Indy Eleven and North Carolina FC round out the regular season.
When & Where
The match is set to take place at Lamport Stadium with kickoff set for 8:00 p.m. ET.
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Where They Stand
Louisville City FC:
16-6-9, 57 points - 2nd in EC
Toronto FC II:
4-23-4, 16 points - 16th in EC
Last Time Out
LouCity was first to capitalize, this on their second real chance of the evening, again off a set-piece delivery by Oscar Jimenez. Delivering a short cross from a corner, the ball was headed on and eventually headed in by ATL UTD 2 defender A.J. Cochran for an own goal.
In the 37th minute, City continued to display their excellence at tinkering around the penalty area in possession and showed that via a second goal. Midfielder Niall McCabe looked to the right side of the box at defender Kyle Smith, who took the ball inside and fired home with his left foot.
LouCity then continued to pour forward and found a third goal just before the break. Midfielder Brian Ownby whipped in a cross to the far post for George Davis IV, who placed his header off the post and in for his eighth goal of the season. At the interval, City held an impressive three-goal advantage.
City could not be kept at bay in the second half and found a fourth goal in the 69th minute. Again off an Oscar Jimenez corner kick, City’s fourth came from an own goal by defender AJ Cochran.
Atlanta would end up biting back quickly just two minutes later as forward Romario Williams pounced on an effort from close range, but that would end up being the lone bit of consolation for the hosts as City triumphed impressively in a 4-1 win.
Rewind against TFC II
Little would develop for either side until the 28th minute when TFC II midfielder Tsabasa Endoh found himself in stride during an open-space run behind the Louisville City backline. The Japan native slipped one past City ‘keeper Greg Ranjitsingh to give the visitors the 0-1 lead.
Nine minutes later, it was Louisville City’s turn to join the scoring sheet when a ball from forward Cameron Lancaster found Ilija Ilic whose 10th goal of the season tied the match at one goal apiece.
Both sides headed into the half knotted at one.
After a pressing start to the second half, both TFCII and Louisville City settled in for the next 20 minutes of back-and-forth time of possession.
That would all change in the 64th minute when the Reds’ forward Shaan Hundal yet again found Endoh in transition for his second of the night. Just six minutes later, TFCII added to their lead with a strike from Malik Johnson as the midfielder rocketed a ball past Ranjitsingh.
Heading into stoppage time, TFCII would find the back of the net for their fourth and final goal of the night when Donte Campbell finished a brilliant run and snuck another past a diving Ranjitsingh.
Neither side would add to the scoring list as Louisville City lost its second game at Slugger Field in 2018 by a final of 1-4.
Coach John Hackworth's pre-TFC II assessment
On approaching the second TFC II match:
“We need to have a different approach to this game. I think now we’re going to give Toronto a little more respect. We understand what they’re doing to be effective as a team and we’re going to try and counteract that.”
On road success as of late:
“A little bit of [the road success] is that we’ve had time to get to know each other on the road. We spend more time together from meals to meetings and a little more preparation and we’ve taken that time, again, with a newer staff and now having [assistant coach] Danny [Cruz] and [Director of Operations] Andrew [DiLallo] on, it’ll again be a valuable time for us to build some relationships and trust.”
On rotation with three games in eight days to end the regular season:
“At the moment, the plan would be that we are going to rotate because we need to make sure that we’re prepared and there are guys that have not played significant minutes recently that deserve that opportunity and have shown that in practice. At the same time, we have to make sure that we are 100% going for the result in every single one of these games. I think it’s going to be a little bit of balance and, honestly, we haven’t decided that yet.”
On the importance of home playoff games:
“It would be important to us, but more important is that we improve on every game. I’ve said it all along—if we continue to make progress in that regard, if we continue to get better every time we’re out, I think the success will take care of itself.”
On what he has liked most about his team’s recent performances:
“I said it earlier in the week, I love the fact that we’ve adjusted mid-game. It came from the players. They start problem-solving within the game early and that turned everything for us.”
On closing out at home:
“It’ll be nice not to have to pack a bag every couple of days and just be comfortable and everyone settling down. Then I think we have some more downtime to really put in some good preparation.”
KY Lottery Kees to the Game
With just one trip left in the regular season, here are the KY Lottery Kees to the Game for #TORvLOU:
Questionable - Greg Ranjitsingh (Rib)
OUT - Magnus Rasmussen (Knee Sprain)