Five score as LouCity routs Harrisburg, returns to first place
Louisville City FC looked like a first-place team Wednesday night, and as the final whistle sounded, the boys in purple officially found themselves atop the USL Eastern Conference standings again with a 5-0 win over the Harrisburg City Islanders.
Mark-Anthony Kaye's 11th-minute goal started the onslaught before Ilija Ilic, Paolo DelPiccolo, Niall McCabe and Sean Totsch each found the back of the net as well. Defensively, LouCity proved sound, as Harrisburg went without a shot on goal during the game.
Best performance of the season?
"That's a great question," said coach James O'Connor. "I don't know. It'll be up there. I thought we played some really good stuff against Cincy. So there've been games where I think we played well. There's also things in there that we need to be better at. We'll touch on that.
"But again I thought, you know when you look over the course of the 90 minutes how strong the desire was and the movement and the timing of runs, the quality of passing — really really good."
LouCity's 44 points equal the Charlotte Independence's total. But a plus-23 goal differential to Charlotte's plus-17, breaks the current tie. To add, LouCity has played two games fewer than the Independence with another home game ahead Saturday against Orlando City B.
O'Connor noticed a sharp team in warmups, and that form carried over to a game LouCity controlled from the start. The club out-possessed Harrisburg 55-46 percent, out-shot the City Islanders 19-3 and didn't receive a card during the run of play.
On the assist from George Davis IV, Kaye switched to his left foot on the wing, fired and put LouCity in front for good. Ilic finished a corner for the second goal, and DelPiccolo cleaned up a ball in the box for the third goal of the half — also his first of the season.
"We're really kind of clicking offensively, and also, we were really happy to get the shutout tonight," DelPiccolo said. "I think that was a big goal of ours coming into the game was to make sure we didn't give up any goals. Doing that puts us in a good spot in the league and (gives us ) good momentum — a good feeling in the locker room."
LouCity appeared content with its lead — this was a Harrisburg team that forced a 1-0 upset back in June — before adding to the lead in the 67th minute. Ilic flicked a ball forward that McCabe finished with a rocket of a shot. In stoppage time, McCabe's corner landed to Totsch, who added the final goal.
As a result, LouCity won its third straight game and five of its last six overall.
"It all starts in training," McCabe said. "You know, training at the really high intensity — everyone knows how James trains — it's pretty high intensity. So we take that into games and just hope the results will follow."
The boys in purple have an opportunity to move into sole possession of first place at 7:30 p.m. Saturday when Orlando City B visits Slugger Field.