Playoff Positions on the Line as LouCity Visit Rowdies
Photo: Colorado Springs Switchbacks SC
With the USL Championship regular season winding down, Louisville City visits Tampa Bay Rowdies on Saturday night in a clash between Eastern Conference playoff contenders. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET at Al Lang Stadium in Tampa.
Sitting fourth in the East standings, LouCity brings momentum into the contest having won two straight matches and received points in six of their last seven matches. LouCity took maximum points on the road last weekend against fellow playoff hopefuls Colorado Springs Switchbacks.
The Rowdies sit second in the conference, just one point off the lead. Both sides have found form — Tampa Bay rattled off four straight wins before a midweek loss at Memphis 901 FC.
These teams have a history as beasts of the East, meeting in the past two conference finals. LouCity came out on top last campaign on their run to the league title.
But with just seven games left this regular season, positioning for the playoffs takes priority. The top four teams in each conference host their opening playoff match. Tampa currently sits in second place while LouCity sits in fourth only one point clear of Memphis who are in 5th and two points clear of Indy 11 who are in 6th. A loss to Tampa would put them behind the 8 ball when trying to lock up the fourth seed.
“We know it’s a big game and we need to go there with the right mentality,” said LouCity coach Danny Cruz. “Our destiny is still in our hands.”
Veteran Paolo DelPiccolo could make his 250th career USL Championship appearance in the contest, underscoring the experience LouCity boasts. But defending will be just as crucial against dangerous Rowdies attackers. Goalkeeper Oliver Semmle also remains in pursuit of the club’s single-season shutout record.
In a fight for playoff seeding, Louisville City aims to show their title credentials with a statement road performance. And I think they have the momentum to do so.
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