SUNDAY, FEB. 9, 2020 – LouCity will take on its second preseason opponent today, playing Nashville SC from the MLS at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
For Louisville City, Sunday's match will be its second preseason test and it's second against MLS competition. LouCity fell 1-0 to D.C. United on Thursday. Louisville City coach John Hackworth was encouraged by much of what he saw vs. D.C., but he'd like to see Louisville City finish more chances.
"Overall, I was pleased with the way we tried to play," Hackworth said. "I felt like we created some good opportunities there, but we probably should have finished a couple of chances. We certainly have some things to work on, but, again, from a perspective of this being our first opponent, the first time you are going against somebody? I'm pretty pleased."
Sunday will be an interesting match for new LouCity forward Cameron Lancaster who is on loan from Nashville SC this season. Lancaster won the USL Championship's Golden Boot in 2018 and then signed with Nashville MLS after that season. He was loaned to Louisville City on Thursday.
Nashville moved to the MLS after playing USL Championship last season. Nashville was second in the Eastern Conference in the regular season last year but fell 1-0 to third-place Indy Eleven in the Conference Semifinals. Indy was eliminated in the next round by Louisville City.
After the 2019 season, Nashville SC head coach Gary Smith appointed added assistants Steve Guppy and Brett Jacobs along with goalkeeper coach Matt Pickens to his technical staff.
This will be Nashville SC’s third preseason game after the club fell 2-3 to the Chicago Fire on Thursday at the Tournament Sportsplex of Tampa Bay. On February 1, Nashville SC played a preseason scrimmage against the Swedish side IF Elfsborg at IMG. The game ended with a scoreless draw.
General Manager Mike Jacobs is excited about the season to come.
“I can tell you I’m very happy to hand this group over to [Head Coach] Gary [Smith] and have him now manage them and put them on the field together," Jacobs said. "We’ve talked all along about not trying to build this for January preseason; we’re trying to build this as a sustainable model that’s going to keep going. I do feel that the group of guys we have now not only can contribute in the MLS but a goal for our group is to be comparable to other teams in our league. Whether it’s different than other expansion teams recently or any other team you compare to, I’d like to think our group right now is comparable to other teams you’ll see in MLS.”
Returning from the 2019 campaign are six players: Daniel Ríos, Cameron Lancaster, Ken Tribbett, Taylor Washington, Matt LaGrassa, Alan Winn,
Gaining a total of 18 new players for the 2020 roster, Nashville acquired 13 new players from other teams: Derrick Jones (Philadelphia Union), David Accam (Columbus Crew), Aníbal Godoy (San Jose Earthquakes), Dax McCarty (Chicago Fire), Brayan Beckeles (CD Olimpia), Miguel Nazarit (Once Caldes), Dave Romney (LA Galaxy), Adrían Zendejas (Sporting Kansas City), Daniel Lovitz (Montreal Impact), Tah Brian Anuga (Charleston Battery), Randall Leal (Deportivo Saprissa), Dominique Badji (FC Dallas) and Hany Mukhtar (Brøndby IF). Nashville also received four more players from the 2019 MLS Expansion Draft: Jimmy Medranda (Sporting Kansas City), Joe Willis (Houston Dynamo), Abu Danladi (Minnesota United), and Jalil Anibaba (New England Revolution). Eric Miller also joined the roster from New York City FC after being selected in Stage 1 of the 2019 MLS Re-Entry Draft.
In the 2020 MLS SuperDraft, Nashville SC selected six college players: defender Jack Maher, defender Alistair Johnston, goalkeeper Elliot Panicco, midfielder Tanner Dieterich, forward Shak Adams, and midfielder Luke Haakenson.
The predicted starting line up for LouCitys match against Nashville SC is GK Joe Willis, D Eric Miller, D Dave Romney, D Jalil Anibaba, D Dan Lovitz, M Hany Mukhtar, M Aníbal Godoy, M Alan Winn, M Dax McCarty, M Abu Danladi, F Dominique Badji
LouCity’s 2020 roster, listed alphabetically by position:
Goalkeepers (3): Chris Hubbard, Ben Lundt, Muamer Ugarak
Defenders (6): Oscar Jimenez, Pat McMahon, Jimmy Ockford, Alexis Souahy, Sean Totsch, Akil Watts
Midfielders (7): Corben Bone, Paolo DelPiccolo, Napo Matsoso, Niall McCabe, Magnus Rasmussen, Speedy Williams, Elijah Wynder
Forwards (6): George Davis IV, Antoine Hoppenot, Cameron Lancaster, Brian Ownby, Luke Spencer, Abdou Thiam