LouCity Slump Continues
LouCity fans, join me in taking in a big deep breath. Slowly INHALE through your nose … EXHALE slowly out your mouth … (repeat two or three times)
Now that we are a bit calmer, let’s still look at the facts:
- LouCity is still in the playoffs; solidly
- LouCity played better in this match than they had in the previous three matches
- LouCity is getting healthier
- LouCity could be a VERY dangerous six or seven seed.
Now that we are more relaxed and are in a better mindset about where the team is at, let’s look back at the game that was on Saturday night.
Louisville City FC’s struggles continued as they suffered a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to Birmingham Legion FC at Lynn Family Stadium, marking their third consecutive defeat in the USL Championship. It was a tough result for LouCity, who had started the game strongly and led at halftime, only to concede two second-half goals from set pieces.
The boys in purple opened the scoring in the 34th minute, with Dylan Mares finding the back of the net with a clever left-footed shot across the goalkeeper. However, their lead was short-lived as Birmingham responded through Juan Agudelo’s (yes, that Juan Agudelo who played for Stoke City, Inter Miami, and the USMNT) header from a set piece in the 55th minute, leveling the score.
The game looked destined for a draw, but in the second minute of stoppage time, Alex Crognale’s back-heeled touch from a corner kick secured the late winner for Birmingham Legion FC, leaving LouCity stunned.
Coach Danny Cruz expressed his frustration with the team’s recent form, emphasizing the need to improve in critical moments and finish the chances they create. He acknowledged that conceding goals from set pieces was a major area of concern, as it had been a strong aspect of their defensive game earlier in the season.
LouCity out-shot Birmingham and dominated the attempts in the box, but their inability to hold onto their lead and stop conceding cheap goals proved costly. The team now finds itself in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, a position they are unaccustomed to, having only experienced such a slump in their inaugural season in 2015.
Midfielder Niall McCabe, who reached a significant milestone of 200 club appearances, expressed his confidence in the squad’s quality but stressed the need to address the defensive lapses and stop giving away cheap goals.
Looking ahead, LouCity has the opportunity to turn things around in front of their largest home crowd this season on “Fill the Fam” night when they face rivals Indy Eleven. The fixture has historically drawn a massive crowd, and the team will be eager to bounce back and give the fans something to cheer about.
As the season progresses, LouCity must regroup and rediscover their winning form to secure their place in the playoffs. With the right adjustments and renewed determination (that is the real issue with this team), they can overcome their recent struggles and compete at the level expected of a club with such a storied history.
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.
Photo by: Chris Humphrey