With a tough battle against Ottawa Fury FC in the rearview mirror, Bethlehem Steel FC gets ready to host Louisville City FC at Talen Energy Stadium on Sunday, May 26 at 2:00 p.m. ET in a rematch of last year’s USL Cup Playoffs Eastern Conference Semifinals. The match is set to be broadcast on ESPN+.
Distribution – Part of Louisville City FC’s offensive success this season has been their ability to distribute the ball in the final third. The Kentucky side has a total of seven assists spread out across seven different players, helping them en route to 15 total goals. One thing is for sure, if the Steel want to pull a result from this match then they can’t let Louisville get a rhythm going in the passing game.
Playing on the road –So far LouCity is 2-2-1 in road matches in 2019 and has given up a total of seven goals in its two losses. Take that with a grain of salt, as both matches were played without first-choice goalkeeper Ben Lundt. Overall, this is a very strong team but getting them on the road is a bonus.
Players to watch
Luke Spencer – A true leader on the field, Spencer served as one of Louisville City’s three player-coaches last year before the hiring of John Hackworth. Even if you deal with Rasmussen in the midfield (see below), you can’t lose sight of 6’2” Spencer without paying the price. Spencer scored the game-winning goal that secured the club their second-consecutive USL Cup championship and was named MVP in the final match.
Magnus Rasmussen – The Louisville City FC attack underwent a reformation this year with the departure of veteran goal scorer Cameron Lancaster. Midfielder Magnus Rasmussen has stepped into the void left by Lancaster and picked up the bulk of the scoring duties. He’s scored four of the club’s 15 goals this year and is always a threat to find the back of the net.
Ben Lundt – Although they’ve given up 14 goals this year, seven of those came in the two matches that Lundt missed. In his nine matches this year, the Reading United AC alum has made 17 saves and earned all five of the club’s wins. Even more impressive is in those wins he’s only allowing 0.78 goals per game. Even if you manage to get through the back line, knocking one past Lundt is no easy task.
John Hackworth – Hackworth is Louisville City’s second-ever head coach. He replaced James O’Connor who left for Orlando City SC midway through last season. The 48-year-old native of Dunedin, Fla., is best known for his time at the Union where he spent 2009-12 as the club’s Youth Development Coordinator and Assistant Coach. He served as the Union’s head coach from 2012-14. Hackworth has also had a stop with the U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team.