The two-star club takes the city of stars.
Louisville City FC makes a return trip to the West Coast for a 10:30 p.m. ET Friday kick against LA Galaxy II at Dignity Health Sports Park in Los Angeles.
It’s a quick turnaround for the boys in purple after they defeated Detroit City FC in a penalty shootout on Tuesday in the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup. Head coach Danny Cruz’s side has now gone 13 matches unbeaten this season across all competitions, the club’s longest undefeated streak since the 2020 season. City is 4-0-2 on the road this season, including two draws after losing a player to a red card.
LouCity sits atop the Eastern Conference with a 7-0-3 record and a comfortable five-point gap over second-place Pittsburgh Riverhounds. LA Galaxy II, also known as Los Dos, is just below the playoff line in the Western Conference. At 3-4-2 on the season, the Major League Soccer affiliate is just two points behind the seventh-place El Paso Locomotive FC, which upended Galaxy II last weekend, 4-0.
Friday’s contest will mark the first – and potentially the only – meeting between City and LA Galaxy II as cross-conference play was just introduced into the league’s schedule last season. The 2022 regular-season campaign will also be the last in the USL Championship for LA Galaxy II as the side is set to move to MLS Next Pro in the 2023 season along with the rest of MLS’s reserve teams.
- Friday’s game will air live locally on WBKI and ESPN Louisville’s 680/105.7, with streaming via ESPN+ and the WDBR Now app.
- For Starting XI and in-game updates, follow @loucityfc on Twitter and Louisville City FC on Facebook. Also find the club at louisvillecityfc on Instagram.
Can’t beat City: The May 4 road victory at Atlanta United 2 made LouCity just the ninth USL Championship team in league history to open the regular season with 10 or more games unbeaten, with its three U.S. Open Cup victories stretching that streak to 13 across all competitions. The boys in purple are just four results away from matching the club’s longest unbeaten streak ever – 17 games in 2016.
Bagel factory: While goalkeeper Kyle Morton has proved his worth in City’s league-high seven clean sheets and four conceded goals in 10 league games, Louisville’s defense is also due praise. Led by Wes Charpie, Amadou Dia, Manny Perez, Sean Totsch and Josh Wynder, City has allowed just 23 shots on target, good for second in the league behind Pittsburgh’s 21.
Goals aplenty: The LouCity attack has been just as suffocating as its defense. Cruz’s high-pressing style of play rarely allows opponents to get the ball out of their own half, setting up plenty of chances for the boys in purple. City ranks first in the USL Championship in big chances created (27) and third in goals scored (20). Striker Wilson Harris leads the way with five goals, and 10 different players have hit the back of the net this season, with six of them recording multiple tallies.
Team of the Week: Niall McCabe is back in a big way. The midfielder made his first league start of the season at Atlanta United 2 and tallied a goal, an assist and a team-high six crosses in a performance worthy of Man of the Match and USL Championship Team of the Week honors. The only player on City’s inaugural roster in 2015 to have played in every season of the club’s history, the 31-year-old missed the first five games of the 2022 campaign with a non-COVID-related illness.
Help on the way: The club recalled defender Owen Damm from his loan with USL League One’s Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC ahead of Friday’s game. An 18-year-old from Versailles, Ky., Damm signed a professional deal this past offseason out of LouCity’s youth academy. He made a pair of League One appearances for Hailstorm FC and took part in an April 6 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup second round upset of the USL Championship’s Colorado Springs Switchbacks SC that marked both Damm’s pro debut and Hailstorm FC’s first-ever game. Damm will provide relief for a depleted LouCity back line that missed regulars Manny Perez and Amadou Dia in Tuesday’s U.S. Open Cup game.
Delivery man: It’s hard to believe, but Brian Ownby’s two assists against Atlanta United 2 were his first of the season. He linked up with Jorge Gonzalez on a 60th-minute goal and followed that with a helper on Napo Matsoso’s 85th-minute finish. The 31-year-old has continued strong play from last season with three goals. He tallied five goals and 12 assists last year.
Jorge strikes: It was the breakthrough moment that Gonzalez had been waiting for when he scored against Atlanta, chipping the goalkeeper for his first goal of the season. A native of Valencia, Spain, Gonzalez spent last season in Louisville on a season-long loan from Major League Soccer’s Portland Timbers before he signed a permanent deal with LouCity in the offseason. The forward netted four goals across 21 appearances last year with City, including the game-winner in the first-round playoff match against Miami FC.
OJ’s back: Oscar Jimenez made his first appearance of the season when he entered as an 86th-minute substitute during LouCity’s 4-0 rout of Atlanta United 2, marking his return from a preseason knee injury. Jimenez, the club’s all-time assists leader, almost assisted what would’ve been City’s fifth goal when Gonzalez nearly converted his cross into a dangerous area.