After tough six game stretch, Louisville City looks to tighten up offense
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Even after a grueling run of six games in 19 days, there's no easy day at Louisville City Football Club's practice under James O'Connor.
While a few of the injured or overworked players finished a light workout and rested their legs, O'Connor was busy emphasizing the need to capitalize on chances. As the temperatures on a sunny day pushed close to 90 degrees, O'Connor pushed his team to work harder on their crossing and finishing.
“We've had 83 corners (this season), which is the highest in the league,” O'Connor said after practice. “We've had nearly quadruple what some teams have had. That shows you the pressure that we're having in games and the momentum that we actually garner.”
Louisville earned 15 corners against Saint Louis on Saturday and out shot the visitors 15-6, but the teams drew for the second time in a week.
City has displayed their scoring ability in a 3-0 win against Tulsa and 4-0 win against Toronto FC II, and they've netted 6 goals in three games against Saint Louis, but four 1-1 draws linger on the season.
“I think people are getting caught up in the draws, I have no problem with it,” O'Connor said. “I think tiredness played a factor…you're always trying to win, but you accept sometimes you're not going to win every game.
“Arguably against Saint Louis, I thought we did enough [to win], especially at the end.”
While the team occasionally struggles to find the back of the net, Louisville City (4-1-5) has let in just eight goals --the second fewest in the league.
“The defenders get all the credit for the way we defend, but you know, the way we play, everyone plays a part equally,” O'Connor said. “For me, it's all about the team. We've been pleased with some of the games that we've defended – it's something that we obviously try to be difficult to beat.”
Part of O'Connor's game plan for keeping the ball out of the back of the net is by keeping it in the attacking part of the field.
“We get into those areas because of the way we play. We've had a lot of possessions; we've been in the final third a lot,” O'Connor said. “I think when you create that amount of momentum and possession, I think we have to have chances and score goals.
Midfielder Charlie Adams says the goal scoring rhythm will come.
“You know, it's just about knowing each other. It's about getting an understanding of each other. At the end of the day, we are a new a team,” Adams said.
The team has struggled with injuries early in the season, which has led to an incomplete bench at times. O'Connor's concern over the past few weeks has been keeping his players from getting too worn out.
“It's just a matter of time before we start connecting and putting them away. Once we do that, we'll be in a lot better place,” said Adams.
“We've still got plenty of work to do the rest of the season,” O'Connor said.
Louisville City hits the road next week to play FC Montreal midweek before heading to Rochester next Saturday.
The next round of the US Open Cup will take City to play the Chicago Fire on June 16, before they finally return home for another game at Slugger Field on June 20.
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