Is it time to panic in the Ville?

Louisville City FC’s unbeaten streak ended Wednesday night as they suffered a 1-0 defeat to Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC at Lynn Family Stadium. The Riverhounds, currently on a 12-game undefeated run, secured the victory with a goal from Albert Dikwa, his 10th of the season, in the 68th minute. The Riverhounds walked out of Lynn as top dogs in the east with their first victory in Louisville since July 12, 2020.

Due to the loss, LouCity dropped to fifth place in the Eastern Conference, while Pittsburgh reclaimed the top spot. Coach Danny Cruz acknowledged that his team did not perform well and emphasized improving their attacking play. LouCity has scored the 2nd lowest number of goals (17) in the USL Championship, behind only Detroit City FC (13), who sit 10th in the east.

We know that hands are hovering over either the panic or the active hotseat for Danny Cruz buttons in Louisville, but hold off pressing those – for now. Yes, City currently sits in 5th in the east. Still, they are 9 points clear of falling out of the playoff and are only 6 points of the “Kings of the East” spot with a game in hand on two of the 4 teams above them (Memphis does have a game in hand on LouCity.)

The lack of offensive productivity was evident for LouCity, as they managed only one shot on target with only one big chance the entire game, both coming in the 2nd half. However, credit must be given to Pittsburgh’s solid defense, which has conceded just 12 goals all season. Albert Dikwa’s return boosted the Riverhounds’ attack, and his goal proved to be the difference in the match.

Goalkeeper Oliver Semmle was instrumental in keeping LouCity in the game, making a series of impressive saves, including a crucial double save in the 38th minute. While his clean sheet streak (3 straight matches) ends, Semmle’s performance earned him Man of the Match honors.

LouCity had their chances throughout the game, with Cameron Lancaster and Brian Ownby coming close to scoring. They also felt aggrieved by several refereeing decisions, including a potential penalty incident. There were two instances where LouCity should have been awarded a penalty – the first being when Lancaster was collied in the box with two Riverhounds (Osumanu and Hogan) and the second being a missed handball call in the 58th minute when a potential cross by Mushagalusa collied with Osumanu hands causing uproar by the Waterfront End. However, Coach Cruz acknowledged that they must focus on their performance and not rely on external factors.

Lancaster no call 

Osumanu handball 

Moving forward, LouCity will aim to rediscover their attacking prowess as they face Mexico’s Atlante FC in an international friendly on Saturday. The match will allow the team to regroup and work on offensive strategies. Additionally, the evening will serve as a celebration of Hispanic culture, adding a unique element to the event. The friendly will feature a commemorative margarita class and pregame performances by OVW Luchadores and the band Mas Flow. Kickoff is scheduled for 8 pm.

Overall, LouCity’s defeat to Pittsburgh highlighted their need to improve their attack and capitalize on scoring opportunities. They will need to recapture some of that goal-scoring magic from last season if they want to keep their crown as Kings of the East with just under half of the season remaining.

Louisville City FC (5th in the east) hits the road for their next match to bitter rival Detroit City FC (10th in the east). Kickoff is scheduled for Wednesday, July 19, at 7 pm.

Photo by: Chris Humphrey


  • Jon Hunt

    Jon Hunt is an avid and enthusiastic soccer podcast host. Originally from the Detroit area, he now resides in central Kentucky. Jon brings passion and his love of soccer history to the Bluegrass Soccer Cast community. His ultimate goal is to continue the growth of soccer in America with a focus of the thriving soccer scene in Kentucky. #ProRelForUSA

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