Louisville City FC has made it to the Eastern Conference Finals for the fourth year in a row and, for the third consecutive time, their opponent will be New York Red Bulls II. LouCity continued their path to defending their USL Cup title on Saturday, taking down Bethlehem Steel FC 2-0.
Last Time Against New York
Louisville and New York met in early August at Pittser Field, where City took down Red Bulls II, 6-4. After going down 2-0 early in the first half, Ilija Ilic and Cameron Lancaster each netted a goal to put the sides even at two heading into the break. Louisville would combine for three more goals in the first 20 minutes of the second half with second goals by Ilic and Lancaster and a goal for George Davis IV. Lancaster earned the hat-trick with an 88th-minute goal to seal the result for LouCity.
In the one other meeting at Slugger Field, Louisville and New York each took a point in a 3-3 draw.
Scouting New York
New York, the fifth seed in the conference, is coming off a 1-0 road win against FC Cincinnati. Goalkeeper Evan Louro has had two clean sheets in two playoff games. So far in the playoffs, both of New York’s matches have been 1-0 results. Defender Hassan Ndam was named to the USL’s 20 under 20 list.
Eastern Conference Finals since 2016
While this is Louisville’s fourth consecutive trip to the Eastern Conference finals, this will be the third time in three years that their opponent will be New York Red Bulls II. The conference finals series is technically tied at 0-0-2, with the match ending in penalty kicks on both occasions.
In 2016, Paco Craig scored the only goal for Louisville in the 11thminute before New York found the equalizer in the 74th minute. RBII then took the match, 4-3, in penalty kicks.
In 2017, it was once again tied 1-1 at the end of regulation thanks to a Brian Ownby goal. This time, Louisville prevailed 4-3 on penalty kicks to send the club to their first USL Cup Final.