By Cindy Hernandez
After Hartford Athletics defeat over New York Red Bulls II over the weekend, it has become official that Louisville City FC will face the Pittsburgh Riverhounds Saturday at the Eastern Conference playoff game.
LouCity will enter the playoffs with 11 unbeaten games since the beginning of August. The Riverhounds have also had a successful season with six of seven games.
The 7:30 p.m. round of 16 match at Lynn Family Stadium will give LouCity the opportunity of a return victory after the 3-1 loss to the Riverhounds in July.
“We made some mistakes in that Pittsburgh game that really hurt us and while we didn’t change wholeheartedly — what we did is we learned from it, we adapted, we made some slight changes,” said LouCity head coach John Hackworth.
At a press conference Monday, Hackworth said that although they have not completely changed their playing style, they have worked to make it more “effective.”
Hackworth said the LouCity staff is aware that Saturday’s match will not be without challenges however, they are prepared to face them.
“The head coach for Pittsburgh, Bob Lilley, is an excellent coach (he) always throws some tactical things that we are not expecting out there so we need to be as a staff ready to react to those tactical adjustments,” he said.
“We know that they’re gonna come here and probably do something that we haven’t seen before. It’ll be an interesting game for sure, it’ll be tight, it’s going to be extremely hard. I think this is not one of those games that there’s not going to be a clear indication of who’s winning early, it’s going to go down until the last whistle.”
Apart from the team’s preparation for the playoffs, Hackworth said the team has greater objectives.
“We have bigger objectives and our objective is to earn that third star over our crest,” said Hackworth. “Getting to the eastern conference final is huge because there is a trophy on the line there but winning the whole thing is what this team is all about.”
In 2017 and 2018, LouCity won the eastern conference championship.
The LouCity-Pittsburgh match will air locally on WBKI and AM 790 WKRD. The game will also live stream through WDRB Now and ESPN+.