LouCity Preps for Pittsburgh Riverhounds
Louisville City is on a roll, going unbeaten in its last five matches including four wins in a row before Friday's draw vs. then-No. 4 Indy Eleven. Now, Louisville City is prepping for a weekend showdown with Pittsburgh.
Coach John Hackworth spoke about the challenge of facing the Riverhounds after Tuesday's training session.
"We know we are about to go play a really difficult opponent, first, and then we are playing at their place, which is a difficult place to play as well," Hackworth said. "The size of the field and the surface makes it difficult."
The Riverhounds are 4-1 in their last five matches and undefeated at home this season. In 13 home matches, they have won eight times and given up a draw five times. In fact, the last time Pittsburgh lost at home was July 21, 2018 (a 1-0 loss to Charleston Battery).
"Pittsburgh is an excellent team and Bob Lilley does an excellent job coaching them," Hackworth said. "This is another six-point game."
Hackworth calls games like this six-pointers because when LouCity is playing a team they are in direct competition with for USL Championship Eastern Conference Playoff positioning, the final result could be as much as a six-point swing for the winner, three points for winning and three points the foe didn't get because they lost.
Louisville City must find a way to draw Pittsburgh out of its defensive block.
"We do that generally by playing out of the back," Hackworth said. "Our build-up play, our ability to move the ball out of the back, that's the design of it. We like to identify open space that we can use to attack out of the back."
LouCity drew with Indy Eleven Friday night and then were able to rest for a few days before beginning training for Pittsburgh. Hackworth said his thinking was to make sure his players were refreshed for the stretch run.
"We did give the guys a couple of days off because there are times when rest and regeneration are more important than trying to get out and train and keep pushing," Hackworth explained. "Physically and mentally the guys got recharged and then we build towards Pittsburgh."
Louisville City's lineup will be different for the Pittsburgh match because midfielder Speedy Williams and defender Shaun Francis were called up to the Jamaican National Team. Defender Paco Craig will also sit out due to a Yellow Card accumulation.
Louisville City and Pittsburgh kick off at 7 p.m. Saturday night at Highmark Stadium in Pittsburgh. The game will be televised on MyTV-58 locally and streamed on ESPN+. The radio broadcast will be on 1080 WKJK.
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