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 Louisville City FC

What to Watch for When LouCity Hosts Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC

March 22, 2024 - United Soccer League Championship (USL)
Louisville City FC News Release

Minutes after Louisville City FC's season-opening victory last weekend, coach Danny Cruz credited the effort, in part, to some groundwork.

"We started preseason by teaching the group about our history here at the club," Cruz said. "...I felt it was important that everybody understands what it means to play for this team and what it means to play for Louisville."

It's about more than the 2017 and 2018 USL Championship titles, or the unprecedented nine-year run of advancing to the league's Eastern Conference Final. LouCity is literally named after the community the club represents - and a town that has embraced the boys in purple.

Those good vibes can continue Saturday as LouCity plays the home opener to its 10th anniversary season, hosting Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC for a 4 p.m. kickoff at Lynn Family Stadium.

There will be remembrances of soccer once played in a baseball stadium and other looks into the club's past. The first 2,000 fans at Lynn Family Stadium can also pick up a commemorative 10th season pennant.

"I'm so excited," said forward Wilson Harris. "I can't wait to get in front of the fans and just fight for the badge again and do whatever I can. I'm also excited for some of the newer guys to get that experience. It's a special thing, playing for LouCity, and you never forget your first game at Lynn."

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)

Tola Showunmi (questionable)

Story lines...

Starting off: LouCity's history in home openers is mixed during the Lynn Family Stadium era with two wins (2021, 2022) and two losses (2020, 2023). Coincidentally, the stadium's inaugural game was won in comeback style by Pittsburgh. The event continues to grow, with a home-opening record crowd of 10,881 in attendance last year.

A feisty fixture: Of course this game arrived early on the schedule. It was always going to be one to watch for after LouCity made its first offseason signing Arturo Ordóñez, Pittsburgh's team captain who was named the league's Defender of the Year. City later signed Tola Showunmi, also from the Riverhounds, who posted the Eastern Conference's best record in 2023.

Slow from the gate: Perhaps given the turnover - Ordóñez and Showunmi were just two of many departures Pittsburgh weathered - the Riverhounds are off to an 0-2 start. But coach Bob Lilley's team still looks potent, controlling the run of play in a 2-0 defeat last weekend to Orange County SC. Pittsburgh dominated possession and out-shot Orange County, 12-2.

New skipper: Defender Kyle Adams wore the captain's armband in the season-opening win over El Paso Locomotive FC. Afterward, coach Danny Cruz revealed Adams is considered the club's vice captain next to No. 1 choice Brian Ownby, who will miss time to undergo surgery on a recently suffered leg injury. The duo follows in the footsteps of longtime club captain Paolo DelPiccolo, who retired this past offseason.

Fresh faces: Nine newcomers - half of LouCity's team sheet - made their first club appearance last weekend against El Paso, with six of them earning spots in the starting lineup. That included the pro debuts of starting winger Jansen Wilson from Elizabethtown, Kentucky, and midfielder Evan Davila, a recent University of California graduate.

Milestone man: At 24 years, three months and 17 days old, striker Wilson Harris became the youngest player in USL Championship history to hit 50 league goals last Saturday when he headed in Sean Totsch's 57th-minute cross at El Paso. Half of those goals were scored in purple since he arrived to the club in 2022 following a pro start with the Sporting Kansas City organization.

Under pressure: Pushing for an equalizer, El Paso took nine of the game's next 10 shots following Harris' opener last week. LouCity's defense bent but didn't break, with goalkeeper Damian Las - on loan from Major League Soccer's Austin FC - racking up six saves to preserve the clean sheet. Totsch numbered a game-high five clearances, and Adams had four.

Academy addition: LouCity announced this week the signing of Hayden Stamps - a Kentucky Country Day School sophomore - to a USL Academy contract. Stamps will be able to play for the boys in purple this season while retaining his amateur status. Also, thanks to a new USL Championship rule, as a player under 17 years old he is allowed a spot on the bench at home games this season without taking a pro counterpart's spot.

Home stand begins: LouCity will play the first of three straight Saturday home games this weekend, hosting Birmingham Legion FC on March 30 before Indy Eleven comes to town April 6 to make some history. LouCity-Indy will air on CBS, marking the USL Championship's first network television game. The league added CBS as a national partner this year alongside of ESPN.

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