LouCity celebration

Louisville City FC players celebrate around goalkeeper Kyle Morton after another U.S. Open Cup victory

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Louisville City FC football machine keeps rolling. After conceding an early goal on a penalty at Detroit City, they clawed back to tie the score before putting away the home team in PKs to advance to the quarterfinal round of the U.S. Open Cup.

It was no easy task against a team that had not lost a home match since September of last year. LouCity, meanwhile, is unbeaten in 2022 but took some stellar performance in the penalty kick shootout to stay that way.

LouCity made all four of its tries from the penalty spot from Sean Totsch, Niall McCabe, Wilson Harris and Ian Soler. And goalkeeper Kyle Morton stopped an attempt by Detroit's Rhys Williams, before the home team's final attempt sailed over the crossbar.

It was the second straight U.S. Open result settled in shootout fashion for LouCity, which needed 10 rounds of PKs to put away MLS Next Pro St. Louis City SC in the third round.

The draw for the next round of the U.S. Open Cup will happen Thursday. LouCity figures to face a Major League Soccer opponent.

“The game played out almost exactly how we thought it would,” head coach Danny Cruz said. “This is one of the most difficult places I’ve certainly ever been in the USL. The atmosphere’s fantastic. The field is difficult to play the type of football that we want to play on it. But at the end of the day, we talked about making sure that if a team wants to come fight us, we win that fight.”

Detroit took the upper hand just 14 minutes in when a LouCity foul in the box resulted in a Maximiliano Rodriguez penalty kick.

It took LouCity only 10 minutes to match the goal, off a corner kick. Harris collected a rebound and fired it home for his third U.S. Open Cup goal and seventh of the season overall.

LouCity generated far more chances — 19 shots to the home team's nine — but couldn't get the go-ahead. It also controlled 60% of possession.

“We knew what we were coming into with this field,” Harris said. “It was always going to be a scrappy one — smaller field, turf, the way they play and how we analyzed them. The boys just put in another awesome shift and awesome fight. I’m really proud of everyone in there. ... This was kind of the goal for us — to get an MLS team, hopefully at home. I think we can play with any of those teams, especially if it’s on our field or an MLS field, we’ll be able to play our game more than we did today.”

Morton continues to be outstanding in goal for LouCity, which now is 7-0-3 in USL Championship play and 10-0-3 with U.S. Open Cup games included. Morton leads USL with seven clean sheets. He denied former LouCity teammate Antoinne Hoppenot in the 70th minute and turned back a potential game-winner from Pato Botello Faz in extra time.

"I think it’s a lot of fun," Morton said. “When you have the crowd completely against you, it’s such an atmosphere when they’re chanting the entire game at you. It motivates you a little more. PK shootouts are a lot of fun. Some people might say otherwise, but it’s a lot of fun.”

LouCity won't have much time to rest. It will head west to face the LA Galaxy II in USL play at 10:30 p.m. Friday.

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