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Louisville City 2-0 St. Louis

What a difference a year DOESN’T make, huh? Louisville City resumed the Fleur des Lis Derby for the Kings’ Cup the same way they did in their inaugural game last season, with a 2-0 win against St. Louis FC at home. This one was a slightly different affair, as both teams have undergone some changes since the end of the 2015 season, but the starting result was still the same.

Louisville City started a different lineup than most would have guessed, with Greg Ranjitsingh earning his third consecutive start in goal since Scott Goodwin was suspended on a red card against Pittsburgh a couple weeks ago. Goodwin was eligible for this match, but James O’Connor has been known to ride a hot hand (see, Fondy, Matt) until it cools down, so who knows when we might see Scott between the pipes again. O’Connor also started last year’s most popular centerback tandem in Conor Shanosky and Tarek Morad in favor of Sean Reynolds, but Conor’s in-air prowess proved the manager’s decision to be the right one against St. Louis as City was never truly threatened on set-pieces during this game. The rest of the starters were more or less expected, less Niall McCabe, who didn’t start and might not have even been on the bench for this match for…a reason? Maybe? IDK.

Anyway, Louisville City started out the match better than it had its last few at home, pressing hard and owning possession for most of the first half. St. Louis barely sniffed the purple side of the field for the first 45 minutes, but City was not able to turn much of their possession into chances in the opening frame. Kadeem Dacres and Kyle Smith worked hard on the right side to put balls in the 18 yard box, but St. Louis keeper Mark Pais was up to the task on nearly anything he could reach, a tale that would ring true for the entire game. Paolo DelPiccolo owned the midfield, distributing the ball to the wings and snuffing out any semblance of offense St. Louis tried to generate, but neither side found the back of the net in the first half, which ended 0-0.

The second half was quite a bit more eventful, though St. Louis would do much better in terms of threatening the Louisville City goal. That said, it was the Kings that found the back of the net first. George “Cuatro” Davis IV got on the end of a sharp pass from the center of midfield from DelPiccolo and one-timed it past Mark Pais for the opening goal in the 77th minute. The goal was Davis’s first for Louisville City, and really a well-taken shot after so many others had gone wide of the posts or into Pais’s sure hands earlier in the match. A flurry of substitutions on both sides followed, but in the 87th minute, Pais, who had been having a stellar match, took down Cameron Lancaster (on for Chandler Hoffman just minutes before) in the 18 yard box, earning a yellow card and a penalty kick for his trouble. Lancaster had no problems whatsoever converting the spot kick, and that essentially ended the match.

The result is a good one for Louisville City, who were fortunate to have a couple other results go their way on Saturday to solidify the Kings’ spot on top of the Eastern Conference. City’s next match is on Wednesday in the US Open Cup against Detroit City FC at Bellarmine. See you there!