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Preview: What to watch for with LouCity vs. FC Tulsa

By LouCity Communications, 09/02/21, 9:00AM EDT

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An eight-game unbeaten streak snapped, LouCity will look to rebound at home this Friday against FC Tulsa.


EM Dash Photography

Averaging more than 10,000 in attendance since moving to 100% capacity, Lynn Family Stadium — and its usual raucous atmosphere — will play host to a Louisville City FC game on Friday for the only time all month.

FC Tulsa visits for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff in a contest that precedes five straight away contests for the boys in purple to close out September.

LouCity has dropped points at Lynn Family Stadium just once since the June 12 “Grand Opening” game, playing rival Indy Eleven to a 3-3 draw on June 26. Since then, the club is 5-0 in front of its home crowd.

Overall this season, the boys in purple are 9-1-2 at Lynn Family Stadium.

On Friday LouCity will look to rebound from a rare loss, last weekend’s 2-1 away defeat to Birmingham Legion FC. That snapped an eight-game unbeaten streak and narrowed the gap from first to second in the USL Championship’s Central Division to four points.

FC Tulsa is third on the Central Division, nine points behind LouCity and looking to retain its position in a playoff spot. The club has won three straight since last visiting Louisville for a 2-1 defeat Aug. 14.

Here’s more of what to watch for on Friday…

Follow along...

• For Starting XI and in-game updates, follow @loucityfc on Twitter and Louisville City FC on Facebook. Also find us at louisvillecityfc on Instagram. Live stats can be found at LouCity.com/match-center.

• On the WBKI-TV (The CW)/ESPN+ streaming call: Mike Watts (play by play) and Gary Bailey (color).

• And for ESPN 680/105.7 on the radio: Jeff Greer and Casey Whitfield.

Notes to know

Climb to the top: LouCity has goals higher than posting the Central Division’s best record. The boys in purple are aiming to top the entire league, with the loss to Legion FC setting them back a bit. On 40 points, LouCity is tied for second with the Tampa Bay Rowdies and Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC behind El Paso Locomotive FC and Phoenix Rising FC, both with 41 points.

About the visitors: The Michael Nsien-led side has out-scored opponents 7-3 with victories over Birmingham, Memphis 901 FC and Atlanta United 2 since that last trip to Lynn Family Stadium. FC Tulsa will be without a key offensive piece, however, with third-leading scorer Joaquin Rivas on international duty for Brazil.

Season series: Each Central Division club will see the rest four times in 2021. FC Tulsa is the first of those foes the boys in purple will finish their series against. The clubs split their meetings at ONEOK Field in Tulsa before LouCity took the 2-1 edge last out at home.

Scoring trend: Within all four LouCity losses this season is a common theme: conceding first. Just as with this past weekend’s loss at Birmingham – when the Legion opened scoring in the 58th-minute – the boys of purple have yet to win in comeback fashion. LouCity has also yet to drop a game by multiple goals.

Injury update: LouCity went largely without four regular starters in Birmingham as Corben Bone, Wes Charpie and Jonathan Gomez missed the game and Brian Ownby was only brought on as a sub. Coach Danny Cruz could see some of those pieces return, though right back Pat McMahon is newly questionable having suffered a calf injury last weekend.

Man of the Match: Paolo DelPiccolo netted his career-high fourth goal of the season in the Birmingham loss. Traditionally a central midfielder, the team captain out of the University of Louisville has taken on an attacking role this year. DelPiccolo numbered 13 duels against Legion FC and led LouCity with five tackles. 

Oscar’s return: Oscar Jimenez restored his place in LouCity’s starting lineup at Birmingham having recovered from a knee injury suffered after Game 1 of the 2021 season. The defender — the club’s all-time leader in assists with 29 — returned at just the right time with Charpie, Gomez and McMahon also dealing with injuries of their own along the back line.

Injury report

  • Corben Bone (out)
  • Wes Charpie (out)
  • Jonathan Gomez (questionable)
  • Brian Ownby (questionable)
  • Pat McMahon (questionable)

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