It’s not even June yet but the second edition of the Dirty River Derby is already upon us. It’s a colossal matchup between natural rivals who currently sit as the number one and two teams in the Eastern Conference. They’ll lock horns at Nippert Stadium on Saturday, May 26th for a 7:30pm kickoff.
These teams last met in the infancy of the 2018 USL season. It was early April and LCFC spoiled the Orange & Blue’s home opener. Cameron Lancaster scored a 13th minute goal and LCFC defended resolutely in the second half. James Cameron and company escaped Nippert with a 1-0 victory that night. FC Cincinnati had their fair share of chances, but couldn’t find the equalizer they desperately needed.
When looking ahead to Saturday’s match, one has to consider that both teams were involved in the third round of the US Open Cup on Wednesday. The Orange & Blue traveled to Highmark Stadium and snatched an impressive 3-1 victory over Bob Lilley and the Riverhounds. Jimmy McLaughlin, Lance Laing, and Daniel Haber all contributed goals before Pittsburgh got one back late. Louisville City FC edged Saint Louis FC 1-0 at Slugger Field, benefiting from a long-range Sean Totsch strike in the 58th minute.
Just like FC Cincinnati, Louisville City only has 2 losses on the season. Their recent form has been a little shaky though. The two losses came in their last 3 matches. They recovered from back-to-back defeats to Indy Eleven and Nashville by beating Atlanta United 2 last Saturday with a stoppage time penalty kick.
Here are four fast facts to share with the people you know who like statistics more than human interactions.
- Louisville City has produced 21 more shots than FCC on the season, despite playing one fewer match. However, their relatively poor conversion rate of 11% means that LCFC has scored 8 fewer goals. Compare that to FC Cincinnati’s 20% conversion rate which is tied for first in the USL.
- LCFC’s defense is stingy though. They’re allowing only 0.78 goals per game. Only Pittsburgh and Nashville have conceded fewer goals so far this season. Compare that to 1.30 goals conceded per match for FC Cincinnati.
- 25-year old English defender Paco Craig is the rock at the center of Louisville City’s defense. He leads his team by some margin in almost every defensive statistical category, including clearances (53), blocks (7), interceptions (20), tackles won (23), duels won (84), and aerial duels won (36).
- Emmanuel Ledesma is on fire, earning the most recent USL Player of the Week honors. His 7 assists this season leads the USL. He also tops FC Cincinnati in goals (4 – tied), shots (22), shots on target (11), key passes (19), and crossing accuracy (38.5%).
Stay tuned to Orange & Blue Press for more coverage of FC Cincinnati versus Louisville City in the second edition of the 2018 Dirty River Derby.