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 Louisville City FC

Preview: What to Watch for with LouCity at Las Vegas Lights FC

May 17, 2024 - United Soccer League Championship (USL)
Louisville City FC News Release

Louisville City FC defender Sean Totsch
Louisville City FC defender Sean Totsch
(Louisville City FC, Credit: Connor Cunningham)

As Louisville City FC pours in goals to open the season, coach Danny Cruz often reminds that a defensive zero on the scoreboard is just as important to him as whatever number his own team tallies.

Yes, LouCity's 3.25 goals per game are most in the USL Championship near the season's quarter mark. But a major reason the boys in purple enter Saturday's 10:30 p.m. ET kickoff at Las Vegas Lights FC with a 7-1-0 record is the other side of the ball.

City has only conceded seven goals in eight games, entering this weekend on a 368-minute shutout streak spanning its last three matches. The club's five clean sheets on the season are also tied for most in the league.

Those results have been achieved a variety of ways.

Three games back, goalkeeper Danny Faundez stepped into a starting role April 20 against Loudoun United FC and made clutch saves in a 1-0 away win. Two games ago, it was total domination April 27 against Hartford Athletic in a 6-0 victory where the visitors didn't put a shot on target. Most recently, Orange County SC took only 13 touches in LouCity's box in a 3-0 win.

A consistent LouCity side will meet a streaky Las Vegas team Saturday. The Lights lost their opening two games, followed up by winning three straight, then dropped four more in a row leading up to their 1-1 draw last weekend with San Antonio FC.

That puts Las Vegas at 3-6-1 overall and 10th of 12 clubs in the Western Conference. LouCity sits second in the Eastern Conference, six points off the Charleston Battery but with three games in hand.

Saturday's venue, Cashman Field, is a historic 10,000-seat venue located close to downtown Las Vegas. The former baseball stadium is now a full-time home for soccer with a grass pitch.

Follow along

- The game will air live locally on WBKI/The CW and ESPN Louisville's AM 680/FM 105.7.

- If streaming, download the free WDRB+ app to watch the local feed in Louisville. ESPN+ or Golazo Network also streams the home feed of all USL Championship games not selected for national TV.

- For Starting XI and in-game updates, follow @loucityfc on Twitter. Also find the club at louisvillecityfc on Instagram and Louisville City FC on Facebook.

Player availability report

Brian Ownby (out)

Story lines...

Star power: While Louisville-based rapper Jack Harlow has become a fixture at Lynn Family Stadium, Las Vegas also boasts a recognizable name in Jose Bautista. The six-time MLB All-Star leads an investment group that purchased the Lights this past offseason and made some major roster moves led by the addition of two-time league Player of the Year Solomon Asante.

Home form: LouCity's perfect at Lynn Family Stadium, which the squad has vowed to build into a "fortress." The boys in purple are 5-0 with a +18 goal differential. But can they start translating that to the road, where games have been tighter, and pitches are often smaller? There, City is 2-1-0 on the year with a +1 goal differential.

Goal streak: LouCity is one of three clubs, along with Sacramento Republic FC and Indy Eleven, to have scored at least one goal in each of its games this season. Going back to last year, the boys in purple have scored in 13 straight regular season games. That's the longest stretch for the club since a run of games from June 13-August 15 of 2021.

Year over year: LouCity has bounced back well from a 2023 campaign when losing a club-record 12 games and finishing fifth, its lowest position, on the Eastern Conference table. City has already scored 26 goals. Last year, the team hit 26 goals on August 12, in game 24 of the season, finished the regular season with 41 total goals.

Back at it: Wilson Harris, who numbered seven goals in LouCity's first four games, returned to the score sheet last time out against Orange County. The striker made the most of a 19th-minute ball through from Jorge Gonzalez, slotting in the game-winning opener. Harris' eight goals rank second in the league to Charleston's prolific Nick Markanich, who has already scored 12.

Instant impact: Less than 60 seconds after subbing on in the second half of the Orange County win, forward Adrien Perez out-muscled an opposing player for possession, charged forward and assisted Ray Serrano's 68th-minute goal. Perez also helped created Jansen Wilson's 86th-minute strike from distance, upping his assist total on the year to four, tied for third-most in the league.

Serrano's sizzling: Ray Serrano started 10 games and went without a goal scored last season in his sophomore LouCity campaign. Having turned 22 earlier this month, he's proving to be a model in patience. Serrano scored his fourth goal of the season against Orange County and has already assisted three others while starting all eight games so far.

Midfield maestro: Taylor Davila wasn't credited with an assist against Orange County, but he set the table for another big night offensively. The 2023 All-League First Team midfielder remains in top form having created a game-high eight chances. Davila also won possession a game-high 13 times and passed with 96.2% accuracy in Orange County's final third.

Images from this story

Louisville City FC defender Sean Totsch
Louisville City FC defender Sean Totsch

(Connor Cunningham)

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