A 34-game season consisting of midweek matches and long stretches of play on the road is destined to enhance the chances of injury, but Louisville City FC spent a large portion of their season with nicks in their lineup.
From goalkeeper Greg Ranjitsingh having to be sidelined for several matches in September to Louisville-native Richard Ballard missing the first several months of the 2018 campaign, the “Boys in Purple” are no stranger to injury.
Forced to fill in gaps in City’s lineup, head coach John Hackworth says the culture around the locker room allowed for an easy transition between newcomers and the rest of the roster.
“The stronger the culture is in the locker room and the clearer the standards can be explained to a guy that’s walking in - not only verbally, ‘This is what we do’ but by example - it makes it so much easier,” said Hackworth.
With a strong culture already intact, Louisville City welcomed the likes of Jose Carranza, Napo Matsoso, as well as NYCFC loanees James Sands and Jonathan Lewis, over the course of the second half of the season.
The youngest of the signees, 19-year-old Jose Carranza, agrees with his head coach on City’s culture.
“The team – well, they’ve been very welcoming since day one. Very nice to me and very helpful on and off the field so it’s been a good experience so far,” said Carranza.
Not only has the club’s midseason additions provided talent on the field, but the newcomers have also given the club well-needed rest for some its players.
Including this season’s Open Cup run, Louisville City spent 12 weeks of its 31-week season playing multiple matches over a seven-day period, the most in club history.
“We’ve had three different times since I’ve been here where we’ve had three games in a week,” Hackworth said. “That’s crazy.”
As Louisville City head towards the Eastern Conference playoffs first-round matchup with Indy Eleven on Saturday, the remaining signees on the roster can add great help to Coach Hackworth’s side.
“Whenever Coach wants to put me in and play or maybe rest some guys or he just wants to play me, I’m always going to give him one hundred percent,” said Carranza. “Just working hard every day.”