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Louisville City Update: LCFC Backs Way Into Playoffs, Clinches King's Cup With Loss

Louisville City FC is starting its inaugural playoff journey coming off a three-game losing streak but with a rivalry trophy in its back pocket.

Louisville City Head Coach James O'Connor has taken his team to the playoffs in their first year.
Louisville City Head Coach James O'Connor has taken his team to the playoffs in their first year.

You might call Louisville City's loss to Saint Louis the most productive loss since the United States "lost" the War of 1812.

On the heels of two road losses in a row at the hands of the New York Red Bulls reserve team and the Charleston Battery, the Royals traveled west along the Ohio River to St. Louis to take on rivals Saint Louis FC in the regular season finale on Saturday. With a chance to clinch the inaugural King's Cup, Louisville fulfilled its goals despite losing the game 2-1.

Louisville dominated play for the first 30 minutes, but poor finishing and poor luck meant that they couldn't transfer that dominance to the scoreboard. Despite having the lion's share of possession, Lou City could only find the back of the net once from a Niall McCabe goal in the 11th minute.

Saint Louis capitalized on its opportunities on the counter. Despite certainly having fewer chances in the early going, Saint Louis fought back in to the game and grabbed a larger portion of the ball. The hosts scored three minutes before the half, rendering Louisville's dominating display early for naught.

Saint Louis FC tacked on the winning goal in the 77th minute, sealing Louisville's fate in the final meeting between the two rivals this season. Despite the loss, Louisville won the King's Cup -- a supporters group trophy created for the rivalry -- as the result of goal differential. The four-game, season-long series saw both teams win a match against the other, with two other meetings squeezed into a week ending in draws.

Louisville City will now move on to the USL playoffs and will have a first-round bye. The Royals will next take the field against the winner of the 3-6 match-up between Charleston and Richmond at Louisiville Slugger Field on Saturday, Oct. 3.