It has been since Sept. 19, when Memphis 901 FC visited Lynn Family Stadium, that Louisville City FC met a first-time opponent in 2020.
The USL Championship's regionalized competition structure meant that most games were played against Group E opponents. And a local beginning to the playoffs meant a rematch against Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, a rare non-group foe.
Finally, the boys in purple are preparing for something new in the Eastern Conference Final with the Tampa Bay Rowdies visiting for a 7:30 p.m. Saturday kickoff.
“Danny Cruz and Scott Budnick have a lot of work to do in cutting film and making sure we get the right clips," coach John Hackworth said of his assistants in his latest Yackin' with Hack segment on WDRB.
"Scouting is a huge part of what we’ve been doing early this week.”
The Rowdies and LouCity met three times last year. Personnel has changed, Hackworth said, but basic principles have not.
What's at stake? Along with an Eastern Conference trophy, the winner will host the USL Championship Final on Nov. 1. It is to be the league's first game ever broadcast on the main ESPN network.
"I think we're a confident team this time of year, and we have expectations and standards that we all understand," Hackworth said. "We enjoy what we're doing, but we also know that it comes with a certain expectation. Our players are extremely experienced. They handle this time of year as good as any team out there, so that helps when you're coaching them."
See Yackin' with Hack in full above and look for a new edition each Tuesday on WDRB's sportscast.