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LCFC Update: Louisville Stays Hot with Win and Crazy Draw on the Road

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Louisville City remains unbeaten in four straight after a victory in the club's inaugural U.S. Open Cup match and a wild draw on the road in St. Louis.

Bryan Burke defends against Saint Lous
Bryan Burke defends against Saint Lous

Lansing United 0 - Louisville City 1

In Louisville City's Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup debut on Wednesday, the Royals secured a victory in Michigan to send them on to the third round.

In the 48th minute, English midfielder Charlie Adams scored on a well worked corner kick routine.

Adams, who regularly takes LCFC corners from the right side of goal, tapped in a quickly taken kick to his midfield partner Magnus Rasmussen. Under pressure, Rasmussen gave it right back to Adams, who darted into the box with the ball on his preferred left foot. After taking a touch, Adams rifled a shot towards the far post and it was deflected slightly on its way towards the back of the net by Lansing United defender Matt Brown. Despite his efforts, Brown was credited with an own goal, taking Adams' tally away from him.

The home side Lansing, from the fourth division NPSL, wouldn't put up much of a fight for the rest of the match, save for one long distance effort from Ade Adeniyi. In the 89th minute the Nigerian found a pocket of space and sent a rocket that nearly found the back of the net form around 20 yards out.

With the victory, Louisville City advances to face would-be local rivals Indy 11 in the third round. The winner of that match, a rematch of a 2-1 Louisville City preseason victory, will move on to face the Chicago Fire on June 16 in Illinois. The match will kick off at 7:30 on Wednesday night in Indianapolis.

Saint Louis 3 - Louisville City 3

Following their 1-0 victory in the U.S. Open Cup, the Royals traveled to Saint Louis to take on USL rivals Saint Louis FC in the second edition of the King's Cup Rivalry.

In what is becoming a theme for Louisville's season thus far, weather played a huge part in the match. Lightning strikes and rain would delay the match for over an hour in the 63rd minute, but it certainly didn't dampen Louisville's spirits as James O'Connor's men would come back from three separate deficits to earn a 3-3 draw on the road.

The early going showed the home side's vast improvement since the 2-0 opening day Louisville victory, as both sides had a fair share of the run of play. However, a goalkeeping mistake by Louisville keeper Scott Goodwin would put Saint Louis on top in the 21st minute. In a goal reminiscent of this one from the USA-Germany match of 2013, Goodwin received a back pass from Conor Shanosky while under pressure from Saint Louis forward Jeremy Lynch. With Goodwin turning to try and shield Lynch away from the ball, Lynch slid out and nicked the ball off of the keepers feet and into the back of the net.

However, in a show of resilience that would be a theme for the evening, Lou City would answer nine minutes later. Former Orlando City midfielder Aodhan Quinn sent in a long through ball for Kadeem Dacres to chase, which a stretched Saint Louis defense wasn't able to clear. Dacres pounced on it, and slid a ball to captain Matt Fondy, who was outside the path of oncoming Saint Louis keeper Alec Kann. With an empty net in front of him, Fondy equalized for the visitors.

The start of the second half was very similar to the first, as neither team could grab control of the game. Sixteen minutes after the break, Saint Louis would regain the lead. Midfielder Mike Ambersley collected a long ball, which had only partially been cleared, and sent in a low, hard shot to the far post past Goodwin.

Four minutes later, the weather sent both teams into the locker room for nearly an hour.

After the delay, O'Connor showed his managing quality in a masterstroke by bringing in midfielder Nate Polak and forward Sidney Rivera, on loan from Orlando City, in a formation change. The usual 4-2-3-1 was changed to a 3-5-2 with Rivera joining Fondy at forward, Dacres moving centrally underneath those two, and right back Bryan Burke moving into the midfield. Louisville dominated play from there on out.

After vastly out-possessing Saint Louis after the break, a 75th-minute Juan Guzman corner found the rising head of Rivera, who headed the ball down into a crowd in front of the goal. The ensuing scrum was won by Fondy, who scored his second equalizer of the evening and fifth goal of the season.

Just as it seemed Louisville would go on to take the lead on the road, Saint Louis refused to go away. Another long ball was collected by Ambersley, who was then taken down by an oncoming Goodwin. Referee Brandon Artis awarded a penalty for the foul on the edge of the box and showed the Louisville number one a yellow card. The ensuing penalty was well taken by Bryan Gaul, and Saint Louis regained the lead for a second time in the 79th minute.

Almost immediately, Louisville would equalize for a third and final time. A neatly worked set piece routine saw Guzman roll the ball into the path of Polak, whose shot from around twenty yards out shocked the Saint Louis defense by finding the back of the net. The score was 3-3 in the 80th minute.

The final whistle would blow after nearly five minutes of stoppage time with the score still deadlocked at three. Despite dominating play in the final 30 minutes after the weather delay, Louisville would be happy to secure a valuable road point.

The draw sets up a showdown Saturday as these teams will meet again in the third installment of the inaugural King's Cup. The match will see Louisiville (4-1-4, 16 pts) host Saint Louis (3-3-2, 11 pts) at Louisville Slugger Field at 7:30. With a victory, Louisville could claim the season series against their rivals.

Notes

  • Charlie Adams started in midfield for Magnus Rasmussen against Saint Louis. No word from the club on if this was simply a manager's decision or if it was due to injury.
  • Orlando City loanee Sidney Rivera had his most impressive outing yet in a Louisville shirt. The Old Dominion alum set up the second Fondy goal with his header from the corner, and saw a yellow card for an altercation with the the Saint Louis captain James Musa after being called for a hand ball.