Louisville City FC will complete a run of three games in eight days this weekend with work to do before the USL Championship Playoffs.
The boys in purple defeated San Diego Loyal FC last Saturday at home, 1-0, before a wild 4-3 midweek loss at Miami FC in a game they led at three different points. The final fixture in this congested stretch comes Saturday at Loudoun United FC.
Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. at Segra Field in Leesburg, Virginia.
LouCity (13-10-7, 46 points) is a result away from officially clinching its playoff spot with four regular season games to go. A win Saturday would officially do it, as would a draw combined with an FC Tulsa draw/loss or Detroit City FC loss. If City loses, it could still clinch should FC Tulsa drop points.
Of course, LouCity’s aspirations are higher than simply making the postseason. The stumble at Miami FC dropped the boys in purple to fifth on the table. Top-four finishers earn the right to host their playoff openers, a spot City will be looking to regain in the final stretch.
Loudoun United FC (7-19-4, 25 points) is winding down the year having already been eliminated from the postseason. The club shows one win from its prior five games, last taking all three points on Aug. 12 against Las Vegas Lights FC.
LouCity fans are encouraged to attend Saturday’s official game watch party at Vernon Lanes, 1575 Story Ave. The historic bowling alley in the Butchertown neighborhood, not far from Lynn Family Stadium, features a full menu of food and drinks.
• The game will air live locally on MyTV 58 and ESPN Louisville’s 680/105.7.
• If streaming, download the free WDRB+ app to watch the local feed in Louisville. ESPN+ also streams the home feed of all USL Championship games not selected for national TV.
Player availability report
Amadou Dia (out)
Kyle Morton (out)
Ramzi Qawasmy (out)
Jordan Scarlett (out)
Last time vs. Loudoun: In this season’s return game at Lynn Family Stadium, the sides waited out an hour-long lightning delay in Louisville before LouCity pulled out a 1-0 victory back on July 8. Cameron Lancaster knocked in a 53rd-minute goal to make the difference in a game where Loudoun nearly took the lead in the opening minute, forcing a diving save from City goalkeeper Oliver Semmle.
Road warriors: LouCity’s amid a month that will see the club play five of its six games away from Lynn Family Stadium, with the lone exception last weekend’s win over San Diego. After traveling to Loudoun — in the Washington, D.C., suburbs — City will make one final trek out west to play for the first time at the Western Conference’s New Mexico United on Sept. 30. The regular season then closes with back-to-back home games Oct. 7 and 14.
Scoring streak: Wilson Harris came off the bench Wednesday at Miami FC and hit the back of the net for a third straight game when scoring in the 48th minute. Similarly, Harris entered as a halftime change on Sept. 9 against the Tampa Bay Rowdies, needing less than a minute to score. In between those two efforts, he also headed in the game-winner against San Diego. Harris is a game away from equaling a club-record scoring streak of four games set by himself (2022) and Chandler Hoffman (2016).
Serrano’s service: Ray Serrano whipped in the cross that led to Harris’ goal Wednesday, and a fourth assist on the year moved him into a tie for the team lead with Brian Ownby. Serrano was unlucky not to have another goal contribution on a night he created a game-high five chances. The last of them was an 88th-minute cross that found Oscar Jimenez unmarked at the back post, but Jimenez just missed a shot that would have equalized the score at 4-4.
Delivery man: LouCity Academy product Carlos Moguel Jr. upped his season — and career — assist total to three on Wednesday, serving up a lined corner kick to Sean Totsch in the 14th minute. The 20-year-old similarly registered his other assists on headed corners in City’s 3-2 victory Sept. 2 at Colorado Springs Switchbacks SC. Minutes have grown for the young midfielder as of late with Moguel Jr. starting five straight games.
Brace yourself: Totsch scored off Moguel Jr.’s corner kick at Miami FC, then netted another on a 74th-minute penalty kick to mark his first multi-goal game as a pro. The center back scored nine goals last year, setting a record for a USL Championship defender. He’s on six now this season and remains perfect from the penalty spot, a duty he assumes when striker Cameron Lancaster isn’t on the pitch. Totsch went into 2022 with four career goals stretching back to 2015.
Piling up: After making his own penalty kick in the 74th minute, however, Totsch sent Miami FC to the spot in the 86th after tripping up Joaquin Rivas in the box. Rivas converted, and that was the end for LouCity in a stunning 4-3 defeat. LouCity has now conceded seven penalties on the season, one behind the eight of Miami and Las Vegas for the most across the USL Championship.
Record chase: Semmle, the LouCity keeper, saw a career-high four goals sent past him Wednesday. But he continues to retain the league’s clean sheet lead on the season with 12, a total that’s only one off City’s club record for shutouts set in 2022 by Kyle Morton. The rookie Semmle is also three clean sheets away from matching the league’s single-season mark of 15.