Editor’s Note: I’ll get back to writing my usual Marches to the Match once the regular season starts, but in the meantime, meet new contributor Kevin Kernen! He seems like a nice guy, and he’s got the deets on SIUe, Louisville City’s first preseason opponent for 2016:
The boys in purple finally take to the pitch for a match this Saturday against SIU-Edwardsville in what is a preseason friendly for us, and a spring game for them. It’s closed to the public, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take a quick look at what this matchup with the Missouri Valley Conference team has to offer.
Lou City doesn’t have much in the way of competitive history with SIUe, but these two teams did play a preseason friendly last year, at Korte Stadium in Edwardsville, which yielded a 1-0 win for the Cougars. This was, unofficially, the first loss for our new team, having only played 4 matches previously. The St. Louligans took some sort of contrived schadenfreude from this, maybe because Edwardsville is in the general vicinity of St Louis, maybe because they’re a bit off. Take your pick.
This friendly will give Coach O’Connor an important chance to try out some of his new toys, look to see more proven guys like McCabe, Shanosky and Kadeem give way to some combination of Paolo DelPiccolo, Andy Lubahn, Mark-Anthony Kaye, Junghyun Son, Ben Newnam and George Davis IV in the lineup. I won’t speak to a prospective team sheet, but this is the first of a few opportunities for some of the unheralded players to show their stuff in a semi-competitive match. Also, I’m personally excited to see what Tottenham Academy product Cameron Lancaster can contribute after missing last year with a torn ACL.
On the other side of the coin, I can only comment on what the good folks at SIUe sports information publish. But with names like Ledbetter, Guttelvik, Jambga and Scheipeter this team takes the cake in the fun names department. Match commentators have a field day with that, I’m sure.
Although Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville may not be the first team that comes to mind when you think of College Soccer programs, this team is actually pretty good. They went 12-4-2 last season, winning the MVC regular season title with 1.44 goals/game and an impressive 0.64 goals conceded/game.
The preseason games are going to start coming thick and fast for Louisville City (@UofL 3/10, @UK 3/16, and @Indy XI 3/19). The run up to the start of the season will see new lineups tested, new formations experimented with and new players broken in. The formula will change through the preseason in the run up to the away opener at Charlotte 3 weeks from this game, and the home opener less than a month away. I can’t wait.