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 Louisville City FC

What to Watch for with LouCity at Loudoun United FC

April 19, 2024 - United Soccer League Championship (USL)
Louisville City FC News Release

Louisville City FC midfielder Jansen Wilson
Louisville City FC midfielder Jansen Wilson
(Louisville City FC, Credit: EM Dash Photography)

Off a midweek victory in Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup action, Louisville City FC returns to USL Championship play Saturday when traveling to play Loudoun United FC.

A 4 p.m. kickoff at Segra Field in Leesburg, Virginia, represents an opportunity for the boys in purple to further bounce back from their only defeat of the year, a last-out league loss April 9 away to the Charleston Battery.

Prior to that, LouCity had opened its season 4-0, matching the club's best-ever start going back to the 2018 campaign. A 3-1 Open Cup win Tuesday over USL League One's Greenville Triumph improved City to 4-1-0 this year across all competitions.

Despite dropping the Charleston game, LouCity sits only three points back of the Eastern Conference-leading Battery entering the weekend. City's +9 goal differential remains the best in the league.

Loudoun United sits seventh on the table while off to a 2-2-1 start and is aiming for its third straight win across competitions. United defeated Memphis 901 FC last weekend in USL Championship play before prevailing on penalty kicks Wednesday in an Open Cup matchup with League One's Richmond Kickers.

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

Dylan Mares (out)

Brian Ownby (out)

Story lines...

Familiar territory: LouCity's links to Loudoun United are limited, but one player on the roster will feel a bit at home Saturday. Jake Morris, who signed with LouCity entering this season, spent the second half of the 2023 campaign on loan to Loudoun from his former parent club, the Columbus Crew. Morris has excelled in purple by scoring a goal, creating an assist and numbering three chances created in a wingback role.

Two to watch: Loudoun possesses a pair of well-known threats starting with Zach Ryan, a former New York Red Bulls forward who tallied three goals and an assists in United's first five games. Veteran midfielder Florian Valot, also an ex-Red Bulls player, leads Loudoun in chances created with nine and has two assists through four games.

Harris' hot start: It was news that Wilson Harris finally went without a goal in LouCity's loss to Charleston. Before that, the striker found himself on the fastest four-game start in USL Championship history, amassing seven goals in that span. That included the 24-year-old's first professional hat trick April 6 as LouCity defeated rival Indy Eleven. Harris also scored in the midweek Open Cup game, bringing his total to eight goals in six appearances across all competitions this year.

Charleston changes: Coach Danny Cruz played the same starting lineup in LouCity's first four games, all wins. But the April 9 Charleston game arrived on a short turnaround from the Indy Eleven win, and Cruz was forced into a different set of starters. With five changes made, the boys in purple took an early 1-0 lead but found themselves trailing 3-1 at the half.

A pair of firsts: As for that LouCity opener, Carlos Moguel Jr. looped a ninth-minute corner kick to Jorge Gonzalez, who headed in a goal at the back post. Both players were making their first starts of the season - and Moguel Jr. his first appearance. Accordingly, it went down as their first goal contributions of the year.

Tale of two halves: That's how Cruz described LouCity's defeat at Charleston. The Battery equalized in the 10th minute and controlled 61.6% of first half possession to build their lead. LouCity looked like a different side out of the locker room, pulling a goal back in the 52nd minute while holding 61.6% of second half possession.

Leaking goals: LouCity conceded three goals apiece in the Indy and Charleston games - but to much different end results. However, the Battery loss looks more like one bad half than a defensive trend beginning. The Eleven scored a trio of goals from only 0.98 expected goals, according to Stats Perform, converting a penalty kick and knocking in a deflected shot off a City player.

Righting the ship: LouCity appeared dominant again in its Open Cup matchup with Greenville, which leads the League One standings. The boys in purple scored in the second minute when Sean Totsch headed in a Niall McCabe corner kick, and they consistently threatened from there. By the time 15 of the club's 18 shots were attempted from the box, City racked up 3.13 expected goals, according to Stats Perform, to 0.78 by the Triumph.

Images from this story

Louisville City FC midfielder Jansen Wilson
Louisville City FC midfielder Jansen Wilson

(EM Dash Photography)

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