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March to the US Open Cup Match: Tartan Devils FC Oak Avalon

Damn that’s a long title.

WHO:

Tartan Devils FC Oak Avalon, Greater Pittsburgh Soccer League

WHAT:

A Round 2 U.S. Open Cup match

WHEN:

Wednesday, May 17, 2017, 7:00 PM EDT

WHERE:

Highmark Stadium, 510 West Station Square Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15219

WATCH:

Yeah, that’s dicey. Our advice is to keep an eye on the Coopers Twitter (@loucoopers) or the club’s for links to streams. Good luck!

WHO, AGAIN?

You might be one of the 250 people who went to Woehrle Field last week to see the Tartan Devils play. Chances are, you are not, and were unfortunate not to witness one of the more bizarre pitch invasions of all time. In any event, Taylor Hamblin’s got your back on the keys to the match:

IT’S US OPEN CUP TIME!!! Your Louisville City FC take on the Tartan Devils in Pittsburgh. The Devils reached the second round of the U.S. Open Cup by beating the Derby City Rovers in a penalty shootout last week. Let’s dive into the keys to this game:

Tartan Devils:

I went to the game in my town of Jeffersonville to see them play. Their defense let in an early goal before hunkering down to get a result. Their overall performance wasn’t that bad actually. They did not dominate possession, or have much midfield presence but what they did have they used well.

The first key for TDOA is to use their size. Most of their team are not built like most soccer players, but more like wide receivers in football. You know, that guy who is 5’ 5” and drives a big truck and lifts a ton of weights to compromise for his lacking height. If they use their size they will give LCFC problems when LCFC wants to hold the ball and wait for support.

The second key will be to use a defense that can play 90 minutes. They will need to be strong if they want to hold LCFC in attack (if LCFC plays like they did against Tampa that’s not hard). They did this well enough to get a late goal.

The last key is going to have to be changing up their style of play. Long ball to target speedsters or powerful tall forwards works great in lesser competition but this is the U.S. Open Cup. For the Devils to get a result they will need to pressure LCFC in the midfield and use more flanking attacks rather than an up the middle approach. 

LCFC:

Coming off a loss to Tampa Bay, LCFC will look to bounce back. I want to see a blowout here, and get to an MLS team and beat them! But we cannot overlook this Devils team.

The first key and that is to find a potent attacker going forward. Derby City Rovers struggled with this, as Kenny Doublette could not get free from their defense. We will need to find someone who can play up top and get behind the defense.

The second key will be dominate the midfield. Derby City did this well but lacked a finishing touch in the final third. LCFC needs to capitalize on their opportunities in front of goal.

The final key is for our defense to find the predictability of the Devils attack. It’s easy to pick up on even for a moderate fan of the game. This will need to be stopped or they risk having the goalkeeper doing more than he needs to do.

Prediction: 2-0 LCFC

If LCFC have any hope of convincing the folks that we’re still a top contender, we need to show it with a deeper run in the U.S. Open Cup than before. Beating an MLS Side should show that. Very few teams have gotten past the fourth round from the USL (Charlotte Independence in 2015 and Atlanta Silverbacks in 2014). I see LCFC coming away with a win here, but it will be a test, but this is the U.S. Open Cup. Lets cheer on our boys in Purple as we always do and COME ON CITY!