O'Connor says recovering Louisville City FC 'looking forward' to playoffs
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Despite a string of losses at the end of the season, Louisville City FC is taking a positive attitude into the club’s first playoff game Oct. 3.
“It’s something we’re looking forward to. We’re excited to be in the playoffs,” O’Connor said.
Plagued by late-season injuries, the team has lost three straight games to finish the season. However, a 2-1 loss at St. Louis FC was still good enough for Louisville to earn the first Kings Cup in the rivalry matchup.
Louisville City also finished second overall in the league, behind Rochester. The team’s first place finish in the conference landed them a bye in the playoffs, but the second overall finish in the USL earns them the chance to host the USL Championship game – if the team makes it there.
Not to mention Matt Fondy set a new record for goals scored in a single season in the USL at 22, while Bryan Burke snagged the highest number of assists on the year with 10.
“We’re going into the playoffs with the highest goal scorer in the league, the highest assists leader, we’re the highest goal scoring team – scoring 55 goals – we’ve just won the Kings Cup. So for me we’ve got a lot to be positive about,” O’Connor noted.
But he admits the team has a few things to improve upon if they want to hoist the USL Championship trophy.
“Definitely clean sheets,” O’Connor said. “We need to get back to that. We went through a period where we were a lot tougher to beat. I think we need to tweak a couple of things to get back to that.”
After the trip to Saint Louis over the weekend, O’Connor said he gave the players a few days to rest and recover before getting back to training later in the week.
“We’ve got some that are still managing injuries, but a lot of them are getting a lot stronger,” he said. “All in all I think we should have pretty much full strength (for the playoffs).”
Meanwhile, Louisville City’s front office is preparing to host the team’s first playoff game Oct. 3. The founding members plaque was installed outside the team’s locker room in the main concourse at Louisville Slugger Field and tickets are on sale here.
Many of Louisville’s struggles came during stretches of several games with short turnaround times between them. With a bye, the team will have two solid weeks to recover and prepare for the playoffs.
“I think overall when you look at it, it’s definitely a case of not throwing the baby out with the bathwater because there’s a hell of a lot to be positive about,” O’Connor said.
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