Want the latest on Louisville City? I went to Kenny Alward of the Scouse’s House supporters group and podcast to know what’s going down in Derby City.
For Club and Country: Lou City hasn’t been up to the usual standard so far this season. Is there major worry, or confidence that they’ll turn it around?
Kenny Alward: “We have been spoiled over the last few seasons with a limited amount of injuries and this year it’s caught up with us. Each time it feels that we are getting everything firing on all cylinders, there seems to be an other setback through international duties, injuries or just some unfortunate results. I think the fan base would not be in worry mode, but it’s just a little different place to be than the incredible high standards we have enjoyed the last few years. Each match, we have a bullseye on our back. After the last two championships you know that everyone circles the date of their fixture with us so you always get their maximum effort. We have seen signs recently of the team coming back into strong form. Last year, if you took the pulse of the supporters during the summer, I am not sure that many would have had a ton of confidence in a repeat, but we hit our stride when it mattered.”
FCAC: Are the two Jamaican internationals expected back for the game? How has Hackworth coped without them?
KA: “Speedy and Frano are both expected to be back. I can’t speak to how game-ready they will be after being out so long for the Gold Cup. I think Hack has done a nice job adjusting to losing two starters that have become integral parts of our style of play. As you know, Hack likes to press high and to do that you have to have defenders that can play it out on the deck from the backline and then have midfielders who can either create space through pace or find pockets of space with clever runs. You can see a difference in the fluidity from front to back with their absence.”
FCAC: What changes to the side are expected with the Antoine Hoppenot-Lucky Mkosana trade?
KA: “Well, it’s definitely an aggressive move by the front office to make a midseason trade like this one. The fans really enjoyed watching the way that Lucky attacked the ball up the pitch. However, Antoine brings a much different dimension to the midfield/front line. His creativity between the lines is going to be a big asset for us to break down some of the low blocks we have faced. If you would like to learn more about Antoine, we just had him on our podcast this week. He has a unique look at the differences between the Eastern and Western Conferences’ style of play because has played in both.”
FCAC: How do you expect Cameron Lancaster will be received by LCFC fans? How do the players feel about him? Do you expect an emotional reaction to play a major role on-field or are feelings about his departure tame enough that it shouldn’t affect things?
KA: “Cameron did so much for Louisville City FC starting with our inaugural season, so the supporters have a lot of love for him. He scored some of the most iconic goals in our club’s history and won two championships. His name is part of the LouCity history and helped us become one of the best clubs in the league. Knowing a number of the players, I would expect them to welcome him back into town. With all that being said, I expect him to receive a warm welcome from the supporters and then when the whistle blows, he is just another ‘non-LouCity’ player for 90 minutes.”
FCAC: Any predictions, including a final score?
KA: This will be a very tough ask for our team with having the internationals just returning and integrating Antoine into the squad, but I will say a hopeful result of 2-1 for the boys in purple!