So the streak came to an end. But look on the bright side: NYRB2 also lost over the weekend to Charleston! So for now we hold on to the top spot in the East.
You can bet NYRB2 is happy they have a game in hand on us and are only 1 point behind Louisville in the standings. They will take on Richmond, who we hope will beat them, and we can beat Orlando City B on Saturday. We can expect a nail-biter til the end for top spot in the Eastern Conference.
If you read the USL power rankings, we went down all the way to 5th with that loss to Cincinnati. Granted, that they also said FCC was better cause they beat us, so I don’t put to much thought into it. Anyway, let’s focus on the task at hand and look at the keys to our next game as we try to bounce back from a loss in the Rivers Cities Cup.
Orlando City B:
OCB are coming off a draw to Wilmington Hammerheads, who got late equalizer from Liam Miller. Their keys are much the same as before, which is to play solid defense. Their defense hasn’t been the greatest, but it will need to be if they want to hold on to that last playoff spot.
The next key is going to be closing the game. Against Wilmington, New York was up 2-1 with 8 minutes to go. Then, the Baby Bulls found themselves on the receiving end of a Liam Miller strike to the upper corner. The OCB midfield failed to get back and defend as Wilmington pressed forward for the tie, and that was the main cause of the loss. This is something that we all know Kadeem, Hoffman, or just about anyone on the LCFC team can exploit.
Another key is to get freedom to roam for Michael Cox, a major threat up front. He has 7 goals and an assist, but has consistently been a threat moving on goal.
What can we take away from the Cincinnati game? First, the defense wasn’t nearly as awful as the start of the season, but it looked like they took a step backwards last Saturday. That’s not a bad thing as FCC is not easy to beat, and even playing good defense it was hard to stop them.
Obviously, we’d like to see the offense back to scoring goals and blowing out lesser teams again. In recent weeks, it seems like City has struggled to generate good chances and then put them away against strong defenses. Whether the problem is timing between the front four of the offense or just bad luck, I can’t say, but Orlando City presents a good opportunity to get back on track.
Prediction: Louisville City 3-1 Orlando City B
If LCFC wants to show they are a championship caliber team, they need to show it this game. I still see LCFC as the best team in USL, but NYRB2 are damn close in 2nd. If they want to add separation to the 1 point lead, they a win. It’d also be nice to add to the goal difference, as that could be a tying factor. OCB can steal this game away from LCFC if they capitalize on a miscommunication or other mistake in the back.
Whatever the outcome, you can bet that the game will be an exciting one! Muhammad Ali may have been Louisville’s Favored Son, but LCFC is Louisville’s favored Family! Come on you Boys in Purple!