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 Louisville City FC

Stoppage-Time Goal Foils LouCity's Comeback at Tampa Bay

June 15, 2024 - United Soccer League Championship (USL)
Louisville City FC News Release


Louisville City FC appeared poised to extend its unbeaten streak Saturday after overcoming an early multi-goal deficit, but the Tampa Bay Rowdies hit the back of the net again in stoppage time to escape with a 3-2 victory at Al Lang Stadium.

The defeat ended a run of eight LouCity games without a loss dating back to early April. But at 10-2-2 overall, good for 32 points, the boys in purple maintained their three-point lead atop the USL Championship's Eastern Conference standings.

"I was really proud of the second half," said coach Danny Cruz. "We made some tactical adjustments I thought the players executed, and I felt the players left everything on the field in the second half. We cannot switch off in the last moment there. It's too easy of a goal to concede in the (92nd) minute. Now it's about responding."

Tampa Bay's Damian Rivera delivered the final blow two minutes past the full 90, getting on the end of Pacifique Niyongabire's curling cross at the back post for the game-winning goal.

It spoiled a LouCity comeback from 2-0 down in the first half and arrived just as the boys in purple were threatening to win it. Minutes earlier, for instance, Niall McCabe's free kick from the left flank forced Rowdies goalkeeper Jordan Farr into a diving save that caromed off the cross bar.

Instead, City was sent to its first loss since an April 9 defeat to the second-place Charleston Battery - the only other time the club trailed by multiple goals in a game this season. That one also ended with a 3-2 scoreline.

"Obviously we didn't start the game the way we wanted to," said defender Kyle Adams, who wore the captain's armband Saturday. "We found ourselves in a bit of a hole there and made a tactical adjustment there toward the end of the first half, and it worked...Second half, we were excellent. We left everything out there, but on the road you've got to find a way to pick up a point there or hopefully keep three."

LouCity, which entered Saturday having conceded just 12 goals in 13 games, found itself in unfamiliar territory when Tampa Bay's Manuel Arteaga converted a 36th-minute penalty kick to spot his side a two-goal lead. Minutes earlier, Cal Jennings also netted the Rowdies' opener.

Aiden McFadden pulled a goal back in first half stoppage time, finishing off a corner kick after teammates Arturo Ordóñez and Jorge Gonzalez had point-blank tries of their own saved. Gonzalez equalized off another corner kick in the 51st minute, finishing through traffic to draw his side level.

Indicative of the final score, Tampa Bay and LouCity were nearly even on shots (14-13) and attempts on target (7-6). But the Rowdies created 4 "big chances," according to Stats Perform, much in part to a start that left City chasing most of the game.

"I think it's always tough," Adams said. "Everyone expects to win every game here. I think that's the expectation of the players, the staff, the club itself and the fans. We have to thrive on that pressure like we've done all season. Losses are going to happen, but hopefully there's not too many the rest of the year and we go out there and finish first and keep fighting for each other.

"The rain's always going to come. Hopefully it doesn't come too long."

The boys in purple will leave Florida with two positives. Their leading scorer, Wilson Harris, returned from a muscle strain to make his first appearance in three games off the bench. And there's little time to dwell on defeat as they turn around to play Wednesday at Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, with kickoff from Highmark Stadium at 7:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network.

Game Summary: Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. Louisville City FC

Date: June 15, 2024

Venue: Al Lang Stadium

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET

Weather: 85 degrees, mostly cloudy

Scoring

Tampa Bay Rowdies (2, 1, 3)

Louisville City FC (1, 1, 2)

Goals

Tampa Bay Rowdies:

30' Cal Jennings (Joshua Perez)

36' Manuel Arteaga (penalty kick)

90'+2 Damian Rivera (Pacifique Niyongabire)

Louisville City FC:

45'+2 Aiden McFadden

51' Jorge Gonzalez (Kyle Adams)

Lineups

Tampa Bay Rowdies: 1 - Jordan Farr, 33 - Aaron Guillen, 19 - Freddy Kleemann (65' 21 - Zach Herivaux), 22 - Jordan Doherty, 23 - Eddie Munjoma, 4 - Lewis Hilton, 17 - Danny Crisostomo (75' 18 - Nathan Worth), 27 - Pacifique Niyongabire, 98 - Joshua Perez (68' 14 - Charlie Dennis), 26 - Cal Jennings, 9 - Manuel Arteaga (75' 8 - Damian Rivera)

Subs not used: 5 - Joey DeZart, 15 - Phil Breno, 16 - Christian Ortiz, 24 - Nick Skubis, 30 - Amari Fowlkes

Head coach: Robbie Neilson

Louisville City FC: 18 - Damian Las, 3 - Jake Morris (46' 13 - Amadou Dia), 32 - Kyle Adams, 5 - Arturo Ordóñez, 4 - Sean Totsch, 2 - Aiden McFadden (46' 25 - Jansen Wilson), 17 - Taylor Davila, 23 - Elijah Wynder, 7 - Ray Serrano (46' 11 - Niall McCabe), 21 - Jorge Gonzalez (85' 22 - Dylan Mares), 20 - Sam Gleadle (70' 14 - Wilson Harris)

Subs not used: 30 - Ryan Troutman, 6 - Wes Charpie

Head coach: Danny Cruz

Stats Summary: Tampa Bay Rowdies / Louisville City FC

Shots: 14 / 13

Shots on Goal: 7 / 6

Possession: 55.6% / 44.4%

Fouls: 20 / 25

Offside: 4 / 1

Corner Kicks: 2 / 6

Discipline Summary

Tampa Bay Rowdies:

11' Joshua Perez (yellow)

73' Eddie Munjoma (yellow)

87' Pacifique Niyongabire (yellow)

90'+5 Charlie Dennis (yellow)

Louisville City FC:

25' Jorge Gonzalez (yellow)

42' Jake Morris (yellow)

68' Arturo Ordóñez (yellow)

90'+5 Amadou Dia (yellow)

Referee: Ricardo Fierro


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