Paolo DelPiccolo and Brian Ownby both scored Saturday, and Louisville City FC delivered a complete performance in a 2-0 victory over Miami FC at Lynn Family Stadium.
The second consecutive win was also LouCity’s second straight shutout to start the 2022 USL Championship campaign, with the home team holding its visitors to just four shots over the 90 minutes. City dominated possession, holding the ball 59% of the match, and put five shots on target out of 16 attempts.
“As a group – when you look at the preparation for this game, when you look at the game plan, when you look at how the game went – I felt that my staff and the players did an excellent job tonight,” said LouCity coach Danny Cruz. “Both from an attacking standpoint and a defensive standpoint, one thing I’m really proud of is for 90-plus (minutes) you’re getting the intensity that I expect from the first minute.”
DelPiccolo picked up where he left off last season – his highest-scoring campaign as a professional with nine goals – smacking in the rebound from his own blocked shot in the 36th minute for his 19th goal in his City career. The original shot was a one-timer off a low, driven cross from left winger Jorge Gonzalez, and it cannoned off LouCity striker Wilson Harris.
DelPiccolo reacted quickly when the ball caromed back to his left foot.
“I saw the back line dropping and Jorge gets in so I stopped my run and saw a little pocket of space in the box,” DelPiccolo said. “My first shot, I think Wilson might have blocked it, and then I just followed it up. It was nice.”
Ownby’s dramatic 74th-minute goal put a bow on the win. The wide forward collected a through ball into a huge pocket of space from fullback Manny Perez and beat Miami defender Mark Segbers in a race into the box before cutting back and shoveling a low, left-footed shot underneath Miami goalkeeper Jake McGuire.
It was an illustration of Ownby’s pace and creativity – DelPiccolo called him the “most dangerous player” in the USL Championship – as his cut back sent Segbers sliding past him and opened up an angle to the far post. Ownby said the goal also made up for his missed opportunity earlier in the match, when his 58th-minute strike rattled the woodwork.
“I don’t know how the ball got out to Manny, but we’ve been working on that movement,” Ownby said. “I just saw a ton of space. That’s what I love about this sport, so I just yelled at him to play it and I got the first touch in front of the defender, a good chop and a good finish.”
That combination down the right flank had Cruz and DelPiccolo talking after the match, with DelPiccolo saying it’s “two rapid footballers on the right side.”
“That’s scary, huh?” DelPiccolo said.
For Cruz, the performance was as much about the quality goals as it was the team’s defensive efforts. City only allowed five Miami touches in its defensive box and kept its collective head despite six yellow cards in a chippy match.
“It’s really important,” Cruz said. “I talked a lot last season about how we didn’t concede a lot of chances but we were still conceding goals. Anytime you have a shutout again tonight, the way we choose to play, it’s collective. That zero is not because of just the goalkeeper, not because of just the defenders.”
The manager now has to quickly prep the boys in purple for their first road trip of the season, a 7 p.m. Wednesday match at New York Red Bulls II.
Game Summary: Louisville City FC vs. Miami FC
Date: March 19, 2022
Venue: Lynn Family Stadium
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.
Weather: 46 degrees, overcast
Man of the Match: Brian Ownby
Louisville City FC (1, 1, 2)
Miami FC (0, 0, 0)
Louisville City FC:
36’ Paolo DelPiccolo (Wilson Harris)
74’ Brian Ownby (Manny Perez)
Louisville City FC: 1 – Kyle Morton; 15 – Manny Perez, 6 – Wes Charpie, 66 – Josh Wynder, 3 – Amadou Dia; 12 – Tyler Gibson (64’ 77 – Enoch Mushagalusa), 13 – Corben Bone, 36 – Paolo DelPiccolo (64’ 7 – Napo Matsoso); 10 – Brian Ownby (92’ 21 – Ray Serrano), 9 – Jorge Gonzalez (86’ 8 – Carlos Moguel, Jr.), 14 – Wilson Harris
Subs not used: 18 – Danny Faundez; 4 – Sean Totsch, 32 – Ian Soler
Head Coach: Danny Cruz
Miami FC: 1 – Jake McGuire; 18 – Junior Palacios, 3 – Luca Antonelli, 5 – Paco Craig, 96 – Mark Segbers; 80 – Devon Williams, 21 – Bolu Akinyode, 7 – Joshua Perez (62’ 30 – Adonijah Reid), 27 – Romeo Parkes (62’ 10 – Florian Valot); 9 – Kyle Murphy, 98 – Pierre Da Silva
Subs not used: 31 – Noah Abrams; 8 – Dennis Dowouna, 14 – Christian Sorto, 17 – Sean McFarlane
Head Coach: Anthony Pulis
Stats Summary: Louisville City FC / Miami FC
Shots: 16 / 4
Shots on Goal: 5 / 2
Possession: 55.7% / 44.3%
Fouls: 18 / 10
Offside: 2 / 2
Corner Kicks: 6 / 2
Miami FC: 10’ Joshua Perez (yellow)
Miami FC: 14’ Junior Palacios (yellow)
Louisville City FC: 18’ Amadou Dia (yellow)
Louisville City FC: 30’ Paolo DelPiccolo (yellow)
Louisville City FC: 45’ Tyler Gibson (yellow)
Louisville City FC: 51’ Wilson Harris (yellow)
Miami FC: 53’ Devon Williams (yellow)
Louisville City: 70’ Napo Matsoso (yellow)
Louisville City: 82’ Brian Ownby (yellow)
Referee: Gerald Flores