Nightmare in New Mexico! LouCity Embarrassed by United
(Photo: New Mexico United)
Louisville City FC suffered an alarming setback in their playoff push Saturday night, falling 2-0 on the road to a New Mexico United side that played over half the match shorthanded.
On a night where fourth place and home field for the playoffs were within reach, a lifeless LouCity utterly failed to capitalize after United went down to nine men in the second half.
“The entire evening was a disgrace,” fumed coach Danny Cruz. “I don’t think it had anything to do with tactics. It had everything to do with desire, heart, and quality on the ball. There’s no other way to describe it — not representative of the club.”
His side brought momentum into the contest on a two-game winning streak. But from the opening whistle, the boys in purple were off their game.
Scoring chances were hard to come by, defensive miscues gifted United chances, and the crisp passing that marked recent performances was nowhere to be found.
Harry Swartz opened the scoring for New Mexico in the 32nd minute after LouCity failed to clear danger inside the box. It reflected the visitors’ lack of sharpness all over the pitch.
Things went from bad to worse when United’s Shanyder Borgelin was sent off on a second yellow in the 53rd minute, reducing the hosts to 10 men. But still, a passive LouCity side couldn’t take advantage.
Incredibly, it was New Mexico who found the net next despite their disadvantage. Nicky Hernandez stunned the lackluster boys in purple by curling in a world-class goal in the 74th minute.
Hernandez was promptly sent off for excessively celebrating, but the damage was done. LouCity never threatened a comeback, failing to record a shot on target after United went down a man.
“A lot of things went wrong today — on the ball, off the ball, on the top, in the back, everywhere,” keeper Oliver Semmle lamented. “This was not good at all — really bad. It was embarrassing.”
With Memphis 901 FC losing earlier in the night, victory would have lifted LouCity into fourth in the table. Instead, their playoff-seeding hopes took a massive hit.
LouCity was bullied on the road by an opponent fighting for its own postseason life. City only registered three shots on target all night versus a team they should have overwhelmed.
After the game, Cruz challenged his players to rediscover their pride and determination ahead of the playoffs. Because of the evidence of this dismaying defeat, LouCity is nowhere near the championship-caliber team that we thought they could be.
“It was absolutely a lost opportunity,” Cruz rued. “More importantly, what I expect of a team that’s on the field and representing Louisville City is when they walk off the field you know nothing is left on the field.”
With only two games now to go, his beleaguered team must urgently regroup after such an alarming collapse. Supporters are left searching for answers following arguably LouCity’s poorest display in club history.
The USL Championship Playoffs begin in three weeks, and on this form, City looks ill-equipped to defend their resume. After such an abysmal loss, a furious Cruz will demand an immediate response. But wiping the stain of this catastrophic night from LouCity’s proud name will not come easily.
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