Louisville City FC entered Tuesday night’s Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup game at Detroit City FC unbeaten in 2022. The hosts, meanwhile, hadn’t been defeated at their home Keyworth Stadium since September of last year.
Something had to give, and it took LouCity prevailing in another penalty kick shootout to decide the Round of 32 matchup.
The boys in purple made all four tries from the spot, while LouCity goalkeeper Kyle Morton denied Detroit’s Rhys Williams and saw Stephen Carroll sky the final attempt to advance the visitors in U.S. Soccer’s annual knockout national championship tournament.
LouCity will learn its Round of 16 opponent during a draw Thursday and, at this stage in the competition, figures to see — and potentially host — a Major League Soccer foe.
“The game played out almost exactly how we thought it would,” said coach Danny Cruz. “This is one of the most difficult places I’ve certainly ever been in the USL. The atmosphere’s fantastic. The field is difficult to play the type of football that we want to play on it. But at the end of the day, we talked about making sure that if a team wants to come fight us, we win that fight.”
Sean Totsch, Niall McCabe, Wilson Harris and Ian Soler all made their penalties, with this shootout running much shorter than LouCity’s last. In the Third Round, it took 10 sequences to determine another victory, that one over MLS Next Pro’s St. Louis CITY SC. LouCity dispatched USL League One’s Chattanooga Red Wolves when it entered the Open Cup for the Second Round.
Tuesday’s dramatics harkened back to the only other meeting between these clubs, a 2016 penalty shootout victory for LouCity in the Open Cup. The two sides will get more familiar with one another moving forward now that Detroit has joined the USL Championship.
Going back to the 2018 Open Cup, LouCity made its longest run in this tournament to the quarterfinals.
“I think it’s a lot of fun,” Morton said of Tuesday’s game. “When you have the crowd completely against you, it’s such an atmosphere when they’re chanting the entire game at you. It motivates you a little more. PK shootouts are a lot of fun. Some people might say otherwise, but it’s a lot of fun.”
Before the penalties, most of Tuesday’s action happened in the first half.
Detroit capitalized on a wayward tackle in the box, with Maximiliano Rodriguez converting a 14th-minute penalty. Ten minutes later, LouCity equalized as Wilson Harris knocked in his seventh goal of the year across all competitions and second in three Open Cup games. Wes Charpie started the chance off the corner, but Harris finished it after the rebounding shot fell to him in the box.
LouCity similarly threatened in 15th minute when Jorge Gonzalez flicked a pass to Paolo DelPiccolo, only to see the ensuing, point-blank shot blocked. Then in the 17th minute, a Paolo DelPiccolo free kick deflected off the goalkeeper’s hands to hit the crossbar. Brian Ownby beat also the keeper with a 44th-minute header only to see a defender clear it off the line.
Detroit had its chances, though not nearly as many as LouCity during a game in which the visitors controlled 60% of possession and took 19 shots to the hosts’ 9.
“We knew what we were coming into with this field,” Harris said. “It was always going to be a scrappy one — smaller field, turf, the way they play and how we analyzed them. The boys just put in another awesome shift and awesome fight. I’m really proud of everyone in there.
“…This was kind of the goal for us — to get an MLS team, hopefully at home. I think we can play with any of those teams, especially if it’s on our field or an MLS field, we’ll be able to play our game more than we did today.”
Kyle Morton came up big in spots for the boys in purple, particularly on a 70th-minute save of former LouCity man Antoine Hoppenot on the counter. In perhaps the best look for either side in extra time, Morton was sure-handed in denying a twirling Pato Botello Faz in the box.
That preceded his heroics in the shootout, which lead LouCity back into league play — and quickly. The boys in purple will stay on the road, going next to play LA Galaxy II at 10:30 p.m. ET Friday.
Game Summary: Detroit City FC vs. Louisville City FC
Date: May 10, 2022
Venue: Keyworth Stadium
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.
Weather: 75 degrees, clear
Man of the Match: Kyle Morton
Detroit City FC (1, 0, 1)
Louisville City FC (1, 0, 1)
14’ Detroit City FC: Maximiliano Rodriguez
24’ Louisville City FC: Wilson Harris
Detroit City FC: 1 — Nathan Steinwascher, 5 — Stephen Carroll, 30 — Devon Amoo-Mensah, 2 — Rhys Williams, 20 — Deklan Wynne, 12 — Michael Bryant, 8 — Abdoulaye Diop, 21 — Maximiliano Rodriguez, 9 — Francis Atuahene (97’ 7 — Billy Forbes), 11 — Connor Rutz (91’ 19 — Pato Botello Faz), 29 — Antoine Hoppenot
Subs not used: 13 — Ryan Shallow, 6 — Brad Dunwell, 47 — Barnabas Tanya
Head Coach: Trevor James
Louisville City FC: 1 — Kyle Morton, 6 — Wes Charpie, 66 — Josh Wynder (105’ 32 — Ian Soler), 4 — Sean Totsch, 19 — Oscar Jimenez (59’ 30 — Jan-Erik Leinhos), 12 — Tyler Gibson, 13 — Corben Bone (95 8 — Carlos Moguel Jr.), 36 — Paolo DelPiccolo (74’ 11 — Niall McCabe), 9 — Jorge Gonzalez (74’ 77 — Enoch Mushagalusa), 10 — Brian Ownby (80’ 21 — Ray Serrano), 14 — Wilson Harris
Subs not used: 24 – Parker Siegfried
Head Coach: Danny Cruz
Stats Summary: Detroit City FC / Louisville City FC
Shots: 9 / 19
Shots on Goal: 5 / 4
Possession: 39.3% / 60.7%
Fouls: 17 / 19
Offside: 7 / 2
Corner Kicks: 4 / 9
Louisville City FC: 42’ Corben Bone (yellow)
Detroit City FC: 44’ Francis Atuahene (yellow)
Louisville City FC: 52’ Wilson Harris (yellow)
Louisville City FC: 110’ Sean Totsch (yellow)
Referee: Calin Radosav