In a year in which Louisville City FC experienced never-before-seen changes, transitioning from James O’Connor to the Triumvirate to John Hackworth, the club still managed to capture the No. 2-seed in the USL Eastern Conference.
One element of City’s success that persisted through the rollercoaster ride that is a 34-game season was a continuation of selfless play from Oscar Jimenez, who led his side in assists with six just a year ago.
Doubling last year’s total through the 2018 regular season, Jimenez again led LouCity in the assist column and added to that number in an impressive 4-1 route of Indy Eleven last Saturday in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal matchup.
Though still relatively fresh to this job specifically, LouCity coach John Hackworth has made light of Jimenez’s delivery on the ball and reiterated why it is an important part of creating chances for his side.
“It’s just his execution on service,” said Hackworth. “That’s a little bit of a lost art. It’s a pass, but you have to be precise with it and he’s obviously proven to be the best guy on our team, and again, probably one of the best guys in this league, for sure.”
His two assists in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs came off set-pieces – one corner kick and one free kick – both of which found midfielder Niall McCabe around the penalty box.
“[It] just gives you confidence when you get those moments,” added Hackworth. “You feel like you can fight through some of the more difficult times, but when you get a chance on a set-piece, you have that much more confidence.”
With confidence aplenty during opportunities that graced ‘El Mago’ on Saturday, Jimenez has shown fantastic capabilities with his service and continues to create several chances for his teammates through the full 90 minutes.
Plus, while consistently accurate on set-pieces, Jimenez also brings a number of other threats on the pitch that forward Luke Spencer says attributes to his overall quality of play.
“He’s good with both his right and left foot,” said Spencer on his teammate. “He’s good on corners. He’s good on any set-piece situation. He puts a good delivery into the box, so I think his overall quality helps him.”
Jimenez, and the rest of “Boys in Purple”, will need to continue their quality of play as the club hosts Bethlehem Steel on Saturday for an Eastern Conference semifinal. Kickoff is set for 7:30 pm at Slugger Field.