For the first time in its history, Louisville City FC knows the feeling of a loss in a competitive game.
In what has been a bit of a troubling trend early in this inaugural season, Lou City dominated the game, but not the scoreline in a 1-0 loss on the road at the Charlotte Independence.
"You can't have that many chances and not take one of them," Head Coach James O'Connor said, via a team release. "If we finish one of those chances early, it's a completely different game."
In the first twenty minutes of action at Transamerica Field, the Bluegrass visitors dominated the run of the play, highlighted by a clear missed chance for midfielder Kadeem Dacres in the 11th minute. At the end of a streaking run into the box to meet a Bryan Burke cross, the first-time shot from the Rosedale, New York native went wide left.
The home side would claw back into the game, and then take the lead early in the second half in the 65th minute. The first Independence corner of the match led to a header, which was punched clear by LCFC keeper Scot Goodwin. However, the second ball was sent in by Enzo Martinez towards defender Patrick Slogic, who had remained forward after the corner. Slogic's header was nearly saved by Goodwin, but found the back of the net for the Charlotte lead.
It was the third goal of the season that Louisville has given up either directly from, or in the aftermath of, a set piece.
After pushing for an equalizer, the visitors would rue the missed chances from early in the match as it ended 1-0 in favor of the home side.
After the match, O'Connor made note of the fact that Louisville has been unable to field a complete 18-man squad in the last several matches.
"If you look at the bench on Saturday, it's me and two defenders," O'Connor said. "Hopefully we will be able to bring some players in and get support from the one's we have. I think it's a case of trying to fit square pegs into round holes."
The loss leaves Louisville City (2-1-3, 9 points) in fourth place in the USL Eastern Conference, and it's the last match before a busy two-week period begins for the Royals. After nine days between matches, the Bourbons will play four matches in 12 days beginning with back-to-back home dates against Wilmington on the 12th and Toronto FC II on the 16th.
Highlights from the loss:
Sidney Rivera Expected to Play vs. Wilmington
Orlando City fourth-round draft pick Sidney Rivera has been through his share of adversity thus far in his young professional career.
After seemingly overcoming the odds to make Orlando's MLS roster after preseason, the Old Dominion alum was sent down to his club's USL affiliate in Louisville. However, he hasn't been able to get on the field yet due to a groin injury. All of that is, apparently, going to change this week.
"I trained this week, 100 percent," Rivera told our Andrew Marcinko at Sueño MLS over the weekend. "I'm leaving tonight for Louisville again. I feel good. It's a process."
The 21-year-old striker expects to compete for a starting position and score goals right away.
"I want to play, I want to start every game, and at the end of the day it's goals," he said. "Every game I play I want to elevate myself and get good chances on goal. A goal a game is always the goal."
Louisville City finally has a healthy, hungry Rivera, but he is still first and foremost an Orlando player, and his loan deal works so that his parent club can see him in training periodically throughout his time in USL.
"I've spoken to the coaching staff and to Paul [McDonough] the GM, and they just said that to stay connected with the group here, they'll call me back every once in awhile to train -- a week of training -- and then I'll go back [to Louisville] to play."
Last week I called for Louisville City fans to continue the conversation of a team nickname. Here were some of my favorite responses from twitter.
@j_milbz Louisville is a part of the Pennyrile or PennyRoyal province of the State, which would play into the location/color.— Jarod Wilson (@thejarodwilson) April 28, 2015
@LouCoopers Founders, Barrels, Portagers, Thoroughbreds, Clarks, Shiners, Explorers, Riverboats, Spirers, Main St Muppets— Hibby (@HibbyFC) June 4, 2014
Favorite nickname for @loucityfc so far is the Bourbons (or the Bourbs, for short). I'm not saying adopt it, just that I like it.— The Mane Land (@TheManeLand) April 29, 2015
- Louisville City is taking votes on Goal of the Month for the month of April (including the opener from the last weekend in March). You can vote on the team's official website, here.