by Taylor Sorrels (@taylorsorrels)
On a crisp and sunny spring day at the end of March, Louisville City FC opened its inaugural season against its would-be bitter rivals, St. Louis FC in front of a crowd of over six thousand. For the people who have been a part of the effort to bring Elsie to Louisville since 2013, including yours truly, the day was almost surreal. It started out at Against the Grain for the recording of Dalton Main’s “Pregame Pint,” a YouTube USL preview show at about 11:00 Saturday morning, continued to bars all along Whiskey Row, a march down Washington Street, and culminated in a Louisville City victory in front of a great crowd.
As for the game itself, St. Louis opened up with the ball for a good portion of the opening 20 minutes, but no real chances to speak of. Louisville City had trouble gaining possession or getting the ball out of their half of the field. However, on a turnover in about the 22nd minute, Magnus Rasmussen got on the end of a 50-50 ball and made a nice little flick to himself to beat St. Louis FC’s left back (I think) and once he was one on one against STLFC’s keeper Mark Pais, he coolly finished with a ball to the back post. After that, it seemed that Louisville City did a much better job in possession and mostly had control of the match for the remainder. The first half didn’t end without some nervous moments for the defense, but Scott Goodwin was up for the task and made two very good saves (even if one of the shots was from an offside Bryan Gaul).
The second half continued much the same way the first ended, with a fairly even possession battle but STLFC unable to generate much in the way of chances. Then, in the 66th minute, Charlie Adams, who came on at halftime for Juan Guzman, made himself available at the top of the 18 and lasered a Guy Abend backhell layoff straight into the back of the net. Mark Pais really didn’t have much of a chance – it was a great hit on the ball by Adams, who was voted Man of the Match. The rest of the game featured a few half chances, notably one from St. Louis sub Jeremie Lynch in stoppage time, but the City defense held, and the result was a 2-0 win for the good guys.
- How we forgot the “He scores when he wants” cheer after the goals, I don’t know. It’s one of my favorites!
- Not a lot of fouls called, and only one card. The game wasn’t too physical, but that seems like a bit of whistle-swallowing to me.
- STL fans complained about the field. Sour grapes, yeah, but it is a little short, and the infield turf covering is less than ideal. All that said, I still defy anyone to tell me Slugger isn’t the best place in the city to host this team and this league. I was pretty pleased, all things considered.
- Matt Fondy didn’t score, but he hustles, man.
- James O’Connor’s sideline fashion game is on point.
Louisville City FC starting XI: 4-2-3-1 Goodwin, Burke, Shanosky, West, Morad, Guzman, Abend, McCabe, Rasmussen, Dacres, Fondy. Subs: Adams (45′ Dacres), Polak (78′ Rasmussen). Bench: Ranjitsingh, Ilic, King, Reynolds, Lancaster, Montano.
St. Louis FC starting XI: 4-4-2 Pais, Fink, Doody (how did we leave that alone), Bibbs, Mussa, Barklage, Ciesiulka, Maher, Hardware, Ambersley, Gall. Subs: Lynch, not sure when. I didn’t really pay attention to their subs, TBH. Oh well.