Louisville City FC coach James O’Connor on Monday said that controversy surrounding the Charleston Battery’s 84th-minute equalizer hasn’t come to an end.
When LouCity goalkeeper Greg Ranjitsingh appeared to have hold of the ball in both hands following a Charleston free kick, a Battery attacker dislodged it. Chris Tsonis then finished the visitors’ only shot on goal in a 1-1 draw at Louisville Slugger Field.
O’Connor labeled it “a really poor call,” saying at a regular weekly press conference that officials should have whistled off the goal and given LouCity a free kick.
“From our point of view, it’s obviously very disappointing because that’s out of our control,” the coach said. “We can’t have any impact on that. I think from the referee’s point of view it’s obviously a mistake.
VIDEO: O’Connor’s full press conference
O’Connor said the United Soccer League has not contacted LouCity’s technical staff about the matter.
The goal offset Chandler Hoffman’s 62nd-minute strike, his team-leading 12th goal of the season netted after halftime substitute Cameron Lancaster crossed, deflected his pass off a defender and then grazed Hoffman. LouCity walked away with one point in the USL standings rather than the full three.
“The problem I have is I expect when you make a mistake is, you acknowledge it and put your hand up. You don’t show arrogance,” the coach said. “That’s where the league needs to also do a better job of acknowledging things and say a mistake has been made. There’s a level of accountability for everyone.
“When somebody makes a mistake, you admit to it, and then you try and learn from it. Don’t try and push things aside, because at the end of the day, it’s a big mistake. It had a major impact on the game. I don’t expect things like that to be left alone and left untouched. I expect people to acknowledge it.”
With LouCity still in first place, atop the USL’s Eastern Conference standings, here’s more from O’Connor’s meeting with the media:
- On play during Saturday’s match: “We had a lot of possession, and they made it difficult for us. I think our tempo needed to be quicker. I definitely felt we didn’t play as well as we had done previously, but we still completely dominated the game and I think that gives an indication of what our standards are.”
- On preparing for Sunday’s game at Wilmington: “We need to monitor the weather. I think it’s going to be really hot. Our kickoff is going to be 6 p.m., and it’s going to be mid-90s this week. We need to play quickly and make sure we’re aware fully of Wilmington’s threats. They had a great result against Charlotte over the weekend. They made it difficult for us here when we played them.”
- On Kyle Smith and Chandler Hoffman in the running for USL midseason awards: “Kyle is someone who’s come from an open tryout. The respect we have for Kyle is tremendous. He really epitomizes what we’re all about. He’s come in and worked hard and been given an opportunity and he’s grabbed it. Chandler’s come in, he’s been lively, and he’s scored goals. He’s been a threat for us going forward. Both of those guys deserve a lot of credit.”