OCB vs. Louisville City FC: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Last night OCB fell to East-leading Louisville City FC by the count of 4 to 3 as the visitors stole three points on a flurry of goals in the middle of the second half. Nonetheless, the lads showed some resilience and fight that have characterized the recent improvement in the fortunes of the team. The match was a bit more chippy (and ugly) than most, and it's fair to say that Louisville City used more than clever gamesmanship to take advantage of the young players on OCB to distract them from the business of playing the game in order to secure the road win.

The Good

  • Streak Broken - Coming into the match, Louisville City FC had not given up a goal in USL competition since April 27. OCB put three goals in the back of the net, proving that the lads are developing a potent attack.
  • The H&H Show - Hadji Barry and Harrison Heath continue to show their quality. Barry scored a goal (49th minute) and had an assist on the goal that Harrison scored (29th minute).
  • Rising Stars - Michael Cox and Pierre da Silva continue to show growth and quality on the pitch. Da Silva registered an assist on Hadji Barry's goal, and Cox scored a stoppage-time goal in the second half (off an assist from keeper Mark Ridgers no less) to bring the lads back to within one goal of leveling the match.
  • Battle to the End - The team had numerous chances to get discouraged and feel like they were out of the match, but they kept working the ball forward through the match and found the back of the net in stoppage time. They are continuing the 2016 tradition established by the MLS first team of scoring at the death to make games exciting right up to the final whistle.

The Bad

  • Lads Losing Focus - A lot has been said this weekend about the passing of Louisville's most famous native son, Muhammad Ali. The visitors seemed to employ a bit of a "rope-a-dope" strategy against OCB, being very physical and aggressive in their style of play. The visitors committed 18 fouls on the night to only 5 committed by OCB in the match. Early on it seemed this strategy would backfire as Louisville's George Davis IV was shown his second yellow and a red card at the 39th minute to put the visitors down a man for the rest of the match. But the continued physical play eventually took OCB's young players out of the match in the second half, and they managed to grab three quick goals between the 62nd and 69th minutes. 

The Ugly

  • Kidney Punch Surprise and Other MMA Tactics - I would not be surprised if Louisville's Tyler Newnam winds up sidelined with a bad injury before the season is out because of his dirty tactics. In the 57th minute when Louisville City had a set piece opportunity, Newnam showed his true lack of class and character with a kidney punch from behind to OCB's Harrison Heath that sent our player to the turf. I'm sure it was nothing personal on Newnam's part, and it was just a tactic to distract OCB players from paying attention to the game and focusing on the opponent's style of play. From the results on the scoreboard for this match, it proved effective, especially since that sequence preceded the flurry of three unanswered goals that Louisville City used to put the match out of reach. There's a difference between gamesmanship--which is playing to the limits of the rules in order to frustrate and distract an opponent--and outright illegal dirty play, and Newnam seems to be perfectly happy to ignore that difference. We'll see what he thinks when karma catches up to him.

What about you? What did you think of the match? Were there other players for OCB that stood out to you as stars on the night? Were there other things that disappointed you about the match? Let me know in the comments below!