Asked Monday whether he had a comment on the use of official video review in Louisville City FC’s last game, a 1-0 loss to New York Red Bulls II, coach James O’Connor said, “I want to get away from talking about referees.”
After more than a month of debatable decisions, O’Connor said he’s instead focusing “completely on the players” and LouCity’s upcoming game against Bethlehem Steel FC.
“When you come out and speak about referees, people think you’re making excuses,” the coach said at his weekly press conference. “We don’t make excuses here. I make no excuses. The players make no excuses. For me, I think we need to focus on what we can control, which is our performances. I was pleased with our performance the other night.
“I thought we deserved more than we got, but that’s sort of happened the last little while.”
A Video Assistant Referee — they’re in use the rest of the season at Red Bull Arena — helped determine that New York earned a penalty kick late in the going, and Brandon Allen converted to mark the only goal of the game. The result marked LouCity’s third loss in a month; entering July, the club only had one defeat.
On July 9, the Charleston Battery scored a late goal on a ball that appeared to be knocked out of LouCity keeper Greg Ranjitsingh’s hands. And on July 30, an Orlando City B penalty kick knotted the score at 1-1 in extra time. Orlando tacked on a game winner minutes later.
O’Connor’s postgame remarks focused on the calls those nights.
“When you have such a group of guys that work as hard as our lads do, I think they deserve credit, and I think they deserve praise,” O’Connor said Monday, ahead of Saturday’s 7:30 p.m. meeting with Steel FC at Slugger Field. “I want to be speaking about them and speaking about their performances. That’s something I want to get back to doing.”
Here’s more from Monday’s press conference:
- On getting back to scoring: “I think there’s a few variables. Confidence obviously comes in as well, and I think it’s maintaining that belief. We’ve been one of the highest scorers in the league, both last season and this season, so we know we’re going to create chances.”
- On LouCity’s back line: “I thought Friday, our defense was actually very good. Our shape was much better. I thought we limited them to their opportunity which, again, they scored a lot of goals in games previous to that.”
- On the looming playoffs: “I haven’t given up on the league, either. There’s five games to go. It’s going to be difficult. We don’t have our own fate. Certainly it’s not in our control when New York has two games in hand and is three points clear. But we’re certainly not going to roll over.”