Saturday’s match against FC Cincinnati broke Louisville City’s 17-game unbeaten streak but not the club’s spirit.
“We’re obviously disappointed, but you regroup, and we go again,” coach James O’Connor told local media members on Monday. “We’ll get a good week’s training and get back on the horse. It’s not all doom and gloom.”
Still O’Connor indicated it’s nice to have recovery time between matches. Players won’t return to training until later this week following an afternoon kickoff that left midfielder Andrew Lubahn with burned feet and others suffering from heat exhaustion.
“One of the things that I have a bit of an issue with is obviously the 4 o’clock kickoff is something that could have been avoided,” O’Connor said. “…When you start to get players’ health that’s put at risk, I think that’s where the line needs to be drawn.
“I don’t think there’s any need for that game to kick off at 4 o’clock. I think the sensible thing to do would have been to change it, especially with the heat.”
O’Connor lauded the purple-clad supporters who made the 2-hour trip north, faced the sun and remained in their seats all 90-plus minutes. FC Cincinnati’s Andrew Wiedeman called it the hottest pitch on which he’s ever played.
Players echoed their coach.
Midfielder Kadeem Dacres tweeted Sunday: “Tough result yesterday evening but we will bounce back! Shoutout to the traveling supporters who braved the heat to support us!”
Added defender Tarek Morad on Twitter: “Tough result yesterday but it’s a new day today, gotta recover & prepare ourselves for our game next saturday! One game at a time.”
Wiedeman scored one of Cincinnati’s two goals as the host club held LouCity scoreless. O’Connor said his first-place team didn’t “play to the level that we can.”
“That game could’ve very easily gone the other way,” he added. “We had lots of opportunities. We hit the post. We hit the bar. On another day, we score a lot more goals. I think when you get days like that, you need to look at it and analyze it, learn from it, and then make sure you get a good week’s training behind you.”
Here’s more from O’Connor’s weekly press conference ahead of Saturday’s 7:30 p.m. matchup with Orlando City B at Slugger Field:
- On creating a home field advantage against Orlando: “Let’s bring your mate. Let’s bring your mom. Let’s bring your auntie, and let’s get everyone into Slugger for Saturday’s game.”
- On Orlando City B, a team LouCity has beaten twice this year: “They’ve obviously done well. They’re on an unbeaten streak themselves. They’re people we’ve got a lot of respect for. We know it’s going to be a very tough game. Anthony (Pulis is) a very good coach. We need to make sure we prepare correctly for what will be a very tough game.”
- On remaining at the top of the USL standings: “I’m pleased that we’re No. 1 and we’re a point ahead. I think what we need to do is make sure that we get a good week’s training behind us and get as many people as we can to Slugger.”