#Racing

Playoff Hopes on Line as Desperate Racing Face Orlando

(Photo: USA Today)

Racing Louisville returns home to host Orlando Pride on Friday night with their season hanging in the balance (Paramount+, 7:30 PM ET). Sitting 4 points outside the playoff places with 2 games left, Louisville likely needs to win out and get help to qualify for the postseason.

“We know what’s at stake, but we believe in ourselves and our ability to get results,” said defender Abby Erceg. “Our destiny is still in our hands if we can win out.”

Racing has hit a rough patch at precisely the wrong time, winless over their last 5 games and riding a 332-minute scoreless streak. Friday offers the chance to get back on track in their last home match of 2022.

Orlando sits tied on points with 6th-place OL Reign but trails on goal differential. The Pride knocked off Racing 1-0 in Florida earlier this season and are aiming to spoil Louisville’s playoff hopes for a second straight year.

“We remember Orlando ending our season last year,” noted midfielder Savannah DeMelo. “We can’t let that happen again on our home pitch. The focus is getting three points.”

Despite creating chances galore the past two matches, Racing simply must find the finishing touch that has eluded them of late. Forwards like DeMelo and Paige Monaghan have the creativity to break down Orlando’s defense.  

At the other end, keeper Katie Lund and center-backs Abby Erceg and Julia Lester must stay alert against an Orlando side with recent wins over quality competition. Forward Leah Pruitt leads the attack.  

With the team’s identity under Kim Björkegren well established, it’s simply about desire and effort now with the season possibly on the line.

“We’ve proven we can play with anyone when we stick to our principles,” said defender Lauren Milliet. “Playing loose and free is key. The talent will shine through.”

A berth in the club’s first-ever postseason awaits if Racing can recapture their best form. This team has risen to the occasion in big spots all campaign long. 

Now, with their backs against the wall, Louisville aims to deliver a complete performance when it matters most.

The lessons learned during a historic season will serve this rising squad well moving forward. But Racing first intends to extend 2022 and join the playoff party.

The team expects to compete for titles now. Reaching the postseason would cap a remarkable year of growth for Racing under Björkegren’s leadership.

The club’s ascent as a contender has been rapid. They aim to meet heightened expectations on Friday.

“We have unfinished business to handle,” said DeMelo. “This team is hungry to keep playing into the playoffs. We will leave it all out there.”

Racing has been a feel-good story in 2022, earning admiration league-wide for their captivating style and fight. But this team wants to be known for more than just potential. 

For 90 minutes on Friday night, Racing’s focus needs to be on doing whatever it takes to secure three points. Victory could set up a win-and-in scenario next weekend.

With the stadium rocking and their playoff lives on the line, expect Louisville’s best performance of the year. The next chapter of this enthralling story awaits.

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

Author

  • 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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