Can Lexington ground the high-flying Owls?
Lexington Sporting Club return to Toyota Stadium this Saturday to take on Union Omaha for just the 2nd time in 40 days – the same amount of time since their last win (2-0 over Chattanooga.) Lexington SC will take the field for the first time in their new “All Black Everything” kits for the 7 pm EST/6 pm CST kickoff. Lexington SC is asking all fans coming out to wear all-black for the match.
On the other hand, Lexington comes into the match on a 4-match-losing streak after going on a 5-match unbeaten streak. Coach Stockley has a tough test ahead of him to avoid 5 straight losses, but there is hope for Lexington to escape this match with points and even a win.
Omaha comes into this matchup on a tear, scoring 9 goals across 5 matches, and will likely be a formidable opponent for Lexington to grab points from. However, the Owls will be without their starting center/left back Luca Mastrantonio, who picked up a straight red card on Tuesday against One Knox for a questionable slide tackle he committed in the 82nd minute. This booking and many other questionable calls by the refs for Omaha over the past few matches led to Coach Dominic Casciato’s calling for the league to step in and address the issues of inconsistent refereeing this season. If you plan to watch the match, I will pay close attention to how the match is called, primarily how the refs handle Union Omaha. The Owls have a quick turnaround to make in order to win in Lexington, but they have the attacking talent to keep themselves in the match even on tired legs.
Lexington’s defense will need to gain control of their box and prevent the ball-watching they have been doing recently. The backline must attack and pressure any Owls entering their box and will need to see more midfield support to give the Owls some trouble getting shots on goal. Brandon Mays of USL League One Review did a tremendous tactical analysis of these flaws and how Stockley could fix these issues in a fantastic thread on Twitter.
Noe Meza – The man crucial to Omaha’s high-flying attack contributing to 10 out of their 25 goals scored with his 9 goals and 1 assist on the season, will be the focal point for Lexington’s defense that will need to step up in the box and force the ball of Meza because 8 of his 9 goals have come from inside the box.
Ates Diouf – Lexington’s Senegalese superstar, has performed many hero performances throughout the season. LSC will likely need another one out of him on Saturday night if they want to pull out the victory. Can Omaha handle The Truth without Martrantoni?
Lexington SC 1-1 Union Omaha
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