If first overall pick forward Cyle Larin indeed comes to Louisville City (which is what the Louisville rumor mill is saying), he may have some stiff competition up top in Matt Fondy.
The impressively maned Californian scored two goals in Louisville City FC's 3-2 win over Indiana University on Tuesday, single-handedly putting Orlando City SC's USL affiliate in the lead, heading into the halftime break.
"It definitely feels nice to score and get the win," Fondy said, via louisvillecityfc.com. "But I think there are still a lot of things we need to work on."
The Hoosiers equalized in the second half, but their chances for a draw were snuffed out in the late going. Previously unannounced trialist Cameron Lancaster, notably a former Tottenham Hotspur player, scored the winner one-on-one against the Hoosier keeper with a slotted, right-footed shot which ricocheted off the far post and into the net. Despite the win in in his team's first game against outside competition, Louisville City Head Coach James O'Connor saw the match through critical eyes.
"We need to be better and we will be," O'Connor said, also via the team's official site. "Our play needs to be sharper, crisper than it was, but as I said, it will be."
Louisville City's next match will be on Sunday at 3 p.m. against the University of Louisville at the Cardinals' Lynn Stadium. If you're interested in going, tickets are $3 at the gate or $5 if you'd rather reserve your seat in advance.
Louisville City had scheduled a match on Sunday against the University of Louisville, but that match has been canceled due to snow accumulation. The next opportunity fans have to see Louisville City in action will be on Saturday, March 14th against the University of Kentucky in Lexington at 3 p.m.
Check out the highlights from Indiana's indoor football facility:
The System is the Star
Louisville City held its first ever media day on Monday before the Indiana match and, judging by what the players said, the system the team plays will be the star of the team.
"I really like how this system fits the kind of player that I am," midfielder Juan Guzman said. "There's two holding mids sitting right in front of the back four and I think the space we have is really incredible in the system. The idea for the system is to facilitate play through the center mid."
O'Connor's 4-2-3-1 system, which Orlando City fans will recognize from the style in which the Lions play, is a high-pressure system predicated on proactive, attacking possession and quick retrieval of the ball after turnovers in play. Needless to say, the fitness of the players in the system is of utmost importance, which O'Connor seems confident about.
"Fitness wise, we're pretty much where we need to be," the Irish ex-midfielder said.
As for the rest of the players that will be fitting into that system, does that include some Orlando loanees? The team was just about mum on the subject.
Louisville is expecting to receive four Orlando players on loan, which was about all they had to say specifically. They expressed that they really have very little control over who Orlando sends down, although they said that they were looking at four different positions for each of the four spots.
Will Cyle Larin be one of the young Lions sent down? The rumor among the Louisville Coopers supporters group is that the Canadian international will be heading north to play in the USL for at least a portion of his rookie campaign. Regardless of Larin, or any other forward Louisville may sign, Matt Fondy isn't concerned about losing his spot.
"Someone told me one time, 'Work hard to earn your spot, work harder to keep it.' So I'm not thinking about that, I'm just thinking about putting myself in the best position to score a bunch of goals, which means working my ass off," Fondy said. "And that's what I'm gonna do."
The Case of the Missing Goalkeeper
If you look at Louisville City's official roster there is one position that has been conspicuously left unfilled -- goalkeeper. That doesn't mean the club plans to field an eleven without a number one, just that they haven't found one they want yet.
"We've looked at 50-60 goalkeepers," O'Connor said. "We're getting close on somebody we've really wanted for a long time."
So who have they been using in practice and in their first game? One Trey Mitchell.
This morning we started practice at 15 degrees and ended with a blazing 19 degrees. It's too hot out here in Louisville. #caliboy— Trey Mitchell (@TreygkMitchell) February 27, 2015
If there's one thing twitter is good for, it's learning about your team's unannounced players complaining about the weather. Judging by his profile picture and the following tweet, Mitchell played for Real Salt Lake at some point this preseason but has now landed in Louisville. No word from the club if Mitchell is signed, a trial player, or simply a guest keeper to fill the role until a permanent replacement can be found.
Trey Mitchell is our new keeper. On for Attinella.— Real Salt Lake (@RealSaltLake) February 12, 2015
Not that I'm so pompous to think that I have regular readers (seriously though, to all seven of you I give a sincere and heartfelt thanks) but I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that this space will be moving from its regular Friday afternoon slot to Tuesdays. So check back in with The Mane Land next Tuesday for all your Louisville City news. See you next week.