#LouCity #U.S. Open Cup

LouCity Comeback Falls Short: Perfect Start Ends, Shift Focus to Open Cup Match

Well, the magic could not last forever…

Louisville City FC’s sparkling start to the 2024 season faced its first real test under the lights at Patriots Point, South Carolina, in a rematch of last year’s USL Championship Eastern Conference Final against Charleston Battery. Despite a valiant comeback effort in the second half, LouCity fell just short, losing 3-2 and marking their first defeat of the season.

The match began promisingly for Louisville, with Jorge Gonzalez heading in an early goal from a Carlos Moguel Jr. corner in the 9th minute, signaling a strong start for the visitors. However, the joy was short-lived as Charleston quickly turned the game on its head. MD Myers responded almost immediately, capitalizing on a rebound off the post in the 10th minute, setting the tone for what would become a first-half onslaught.

Nick Markanich then took center stage for Charleston, first converting a penalty in the 21st minute before doubling his tally with a clinical finish from a long ball over the top in the 30th minute. This rapid succession of goals left LouCity reeling, facing their first significant deficit of the season.

Coach Danny Cruz’s halftime adjustments seemed to spark a comeback, exemplified by an invigorated LouCity that retook the field. The changes paid dividends in the 52nd minute when Arturo Ordóñez cleverly flicked a corner to Taylor Davila, who found the back of the net, narrowing the gap to a single goal.

Despite controlling much of the second half and turning the possession stats in their favor, Louisville couldn’t find the equalizer. A critical moment came in the 84th minute when Damian Las saved a penalty, keeping LouCity within striking distance, but even this couldn’t catalyze the tying goal. The match ended 3-2, a scoreline reflecting a tale of two halves and a night of missed opportunities and defensive lapses for LouCity.

The loss was a poignant reminder of the thin margins in soccer, particularly against quality sides like Charleston, which, like Louisville, had yet to lose a game this season. The Battery’s efficient finishing in the first half contrasted sharply with Louisville’s inability to capitalize on their second-half dominance.

Danny Cruz expressed mixed feelings about the performance. He praised the team’s spirited response after the break but lamented the complacency and lack of sharpness in the first half. “I thought in the first half, it did [set in], and I thought the response to the adversity from the first half to the second half was excellent,” Cruz reflected post-match.

Looking ahead, Louisville has a week off before they return to action in the Third Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. This break could not come at a better point in the season for LouCity. Time to heal, regroup, and refine their strategies to avoid similar pitfalls in future games. 

The Boys in Purple will join the Open Cup at home against USL League One side Greenville Triumph SC. The other green team in USL League One is led by the 24-year-old Swiss forward Lyam Mackinnon, who has three goals in the season. The Triumph are coming off a second-round win over One Knox earlier this month. However, they did receive their first loss of the season on Friday night on the road at Charlotte Independent. With a packed travel schedule for Greenville in April and only one home game this month, this could be a trap game for the Triumph. 

I expect to see a mixed-up LouCity lineup in this match. They won’t be quite a B-team, but they won’t be the full A-team for most of the game. For example, if Harris can score early, I would expect to see him subbed off early in the second half. To me, this can open the door for Wilson, McCabe, and Wynder to lead the attacking effort in the second half. Aiden Mcfadden should see a lot of time in this match. 

In the end, I do expect to see LouCity advance as they have too much offense for any USL League One team. 

LouCity’s defeat to Charleston, while disappointing, provided valuable lessons in resilience and adaptability. LouCity showed that even in adverse situations, they have the capability to fight back; a trait that will be essential as they navigate the remainder of a long and demanding season. The challenge now is to use this experience to fortify their approach, ensuring they remain contenders for regular-season accolades and postseason success; all while putting on a show in the Open Cup.

Make sure to stick to Bluegrass Soccer Cast (@BGSoccerCast on all social media platforms) for full coverage of LouCity and everything soccer in our beautiful Commonwealth. 


  • Jimmie Martin

    Jimmie Martin is a charismatic soccer podcast host from Kentucky who passionately advocates for Promotion and Relegation in US Soccer. With infectious enthusiasm and a lighthearted sense of humor, he engages fellow enthusiasts on the Bluegrass Soccer Cast. Jimmie's goal is to promote the growth of soccer in the US while entertaining and educating his audience.

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LouCity Comeback Falls Short: Perfect Start Ends, Shift Focus to Open Cup Match

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