LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Fresh off a 4-0 closed-door victory over Southern Illinois University Edwardsville on Saturday, Louisville City FC will next face one of the nation’s top NCAA Division 1 programs on Thursday.
Three Things To Watch
1. LouCity’s Threat from Set Pieces: In last week’s friendly against SIUE, LouCity scored three goals from set pieces. Will the Cardinals be able to nullify LouCity’s free-scoring center backs, Tarek Morad and Conor Shanosky?
2. A Homecoming for DelPiccolo: LouCity midfielder Paolo DelPiccolo played four years of collegiate soccer for the University of Louisville from 2009-12. Thursday’s match at Lynn Stadium will see DelPiccolo return to his alma mater, facing a side led by his former coach, Ken Lolla. It will surely be a night that conjures many memories of a glittering career with UofL for the returning DelPiccolo.
3. Squad Rotation: With the 2016 USL Season just weeks away, and bearing in mind this is a preseason friendly, LouCity supporters should expect to see a lot of the squad get minutes on Thursday. Coach O’Connor will be keen to get as many of his players time on the field to work on their game sharpness, as well as staying on top of managing fitness.
The meeting with the Louisville Cardinals at Lynn Stadium will kick off at 7:30 p.m. and is the second of four preseason friendlies for LouCity.
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The Cardinals finished last season ranked No. 24, playing in one of the strongest conferences in the country. Louisville ended the season with a 7-9-3 record overall, but the Cards were tough at home — taking points in eight of their 11 matches. UofL took No. 1 ranked Wake Forrest to extra time, eventually seeing the Demon Deacons score the game winner.
With the loss, UofL was knocked out of the ACC Tournament to end its season.
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Louisville City FC, who finished its historic inaugural season in the USL Eastern Conference final, was dominant in their first friendly of 2016. LouCity did not allow a single shot on goal, constantly challenging the Cougars back line.
LouCity opened the scoring in the 31st minute, tallying a three-goal cushion in a seven-minute span with strikes by Returning central defender Conor Shanosky (31′, 37′) and forward Chandler Hoffman (35′).
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Shanosky scored his first of two goals after a botched clearance of a LouCity corner kick inside the six-yard box. Sandwiched in-between Shanosky’s two goals was a Hoffman penalty kick. Shanosky’s brace was completed in the 37th minute off a Paolo DelPiccolo free kick delivery that he headed home.
Louisville City led 3-0 at halftime, and added their fourth goal on the final kick of the match when Tarek Morad nodded a header in off of a set piece delivered by George Davis IV.
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Entering 2016, Louisville City FC has returned 13 players from the 2015 roster — including reigning USL Goal of the Season winner Aodhan Quinn and former English Premier League striker Cameron Lancaster. New additions include MLS Cup-winning forward Hoffman, University of Louisville alumnus DelPiccolo and University of Kentucky alumnus Davis IV.
Louisville City FC begins regular season play on March 26 at Charlotte Independence. LouCity then returns to Louisville Slugger Field on April 2 to host New York Red Bulls II in the home opener, with a special 3 p.m. kickoff.
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Fans can stay up to date with all of Louisville City’s breaking news, roster updates and ticketing information by following the Club on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Season tickets are available for Louisville City’s historic second season via the Club’s official website.
LOUISVILLE CITY FC is an American professional soccer club based in Louisville, Ky., competing in the United Soccer League. Upon joining the USL in 2015, Louisville City plays its home games at Louisville Slugger Field, where the club finished second in the league in average attendance.