Can Lexington cap the inaugural season with a final win at home?
Lexington SC (7-10-13, 31 points) will play its final home match of its inaugural season on Saturday against one of USL1’s top dogs, North Carolina FC (currently 2nd in the table), at Toyota Stadium with kickoff set for 7 pm EST/6 pm CST. The match could be exciting as NCFC likely wants to win the USL1 Shield as champions of the regular season, and LSC wishes to send their fans into the offseason on a high note.
The match will likely be the last time Lexington SC faces NCFC for the foreseeable future, as the side is returning to the USL Championship for the 2024 season. The side, who are the 2 time reigning USL1 Wooden Spoon holders (worst record in the league), have been the shocker of the season as they have gone from one of the worse USL1 teams over the past 2 years to arguably the best this season outside of Union Omaha. NCFC is the 2nd in GPM with 1.8 (just 0.1 behind Omaha), and they create the most significant changes, so expect Lexington to keep pace with them to stay within this one. Defensively, NCFC come into this match having only conceded 3 goals over their last 5 matches, with 3 shutout wins within that stretch, shutting out the Hailstorm just 2 matches ago and ending Omaha’s historic winning streak in their previous encounter in a 1-1 draw. The Dead Whales have very few weaknesses in both their attack and defense, so Lexington will have their hands full, but one of the fantastic things about USL1 is that anything is possible.
Lexington is still among one of the better teams at home, and if they respond like the last time they had a forgettable performance at home, we could be in for a real treat. While it has been a minute (6 matches) since Lexington’s last win, they have gotten 4 draws in that time – 3 against playoff teams. For the final home match, I expect the lads to give everything they have left in the tank on that field tomorrow night, giving us fans something we can be proud of.
Now, the more important thing to me is that this is the final home match in LSC’s historic season, and man, has the journey been fun. Has it been a perfect first season? No, but I would not have it any other way. We have had highs, terrific moments, and gut punches. We drummed and chanted for the boys to come back and barn-burning victories. We have been there through all the lightning delays and tough losses; some have even traveled. Thanks to this team, Lexington is slowly becoming a soccer town, and whatever the result tomorrow night, there will be a part of me that will be sad that this will likely be the last time we see this entire group of players, coaches, and staff together. So, no matter what the result is tomorrow night, if you are at the stadium or home, be proud of our boys in green and relish every moment.
And remember, I will forever and always be behind this team. #LexGO
Check back later next week for our match recap, and stick to Bluegrass Soccer Cast (@BGSoccerCast on all social media platforms) for full coverage of Lexington SC, and everything soccer in our beautiful Commonwealth.