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Here’s What You Need to Know as LouCity, Indy Clash in the LIPAFC

By Staff, 08/30/19, 9:45AM EDT


Get the key storylines heading into a Friday Night Edition of Wednesday Night Soccer

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Louisville Indianapolis Proximity Association Football Contest (LIPAFC) will take to the national spotlight in a special Friday Night Edition of Wednesday Night Soccer when Louisville City FC welcomes Eastern Conference rival Indy Eleven to Slugger Field (7 p.m. ET | Match Center | ESPN3) in the USL Championship Game of the Week on ESPN.

The two sides, separated by just 115 miles on Interstate 65, have each won four of their previous five games in league play and battled to a 1-1 draw in their first meeting of the season on June 29 at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Before Louisville and Indy rekindle their rivalry and pursuit of home-field advantage come October, here are three storylines we’re keeping an eye on going into the latest edition of LIPAFC.

  1. If you’re new to the USL Championship or follow a Western Conference team, there’s a decent chance you’re wondering why I’m going out of my way to use the term: Louisville Indianapolis Proximity Association Football Contest. Well, as you might’ve guessed, there’s a very long and spectacular history between the two regional rivals. However, instead of learning about everything that’s gone down over the years from me – a native New Yorker – I’ll let the fine folks involved educate you on LIPAFC’s history.

  1. Now that you’re caught up to speed on the history between the two clubs, let’s get back to the present and talk about why this edition of the LIPAFC is so important. Both teams are all but assured of a return to the postseason, where Louisville claimed a 4-1 win over Indy in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals last year on its way to a second straight title, but where they will finish in the standings is completely up in the air. Indy enters the contest in fourth position, but has the highest possible remaining points total of any team in the East, while LouCity sits in seventh and needs to climb at least three spaces to avoid its first road trip in the Conference Quarterfinals in its history. A win for Indy would not only represent a massive statement in the rivalry as the Eleven haven’t beaten Louisville in their last four tries (including the postseason) but would be a massive step toward a top-two finish. On the other hand, three points for Louisville would give the side its fifth consecutive victory and send off alarms across the league that the back-to-back champions may in fact be back.

  2. So what will decide the second LIPAFC of 2019? I believe the game will be determined by how Louisville’s biggest weakness – its attack – fares against the Eleven’s league-leading defense. Louisville’s 5-1 victory over ATL UTD 2 earlier this month looked like it was going to be a turning point for an offense that has been pretty pedestrian over the whole of the season, but now that result is starting to look like a one-off. Of course, losing forward Brian Ownby to injury that day didn’t help things, but overall this year Louisville has failed to overpower like it did a season ago. LouCity has managed just 37 goals in 25 games so far this campaign and will be without the source of 10 of those on Friday as leading scorer Magnus Rasmussen is suspended. Forward Luke Spencer has tallied seven goals this season, so that option is still there, but no one else on the roster has more than two. Who will step up in Rasmussen’s absence to help break down an Eleven defense that has conceded just 17 goals in 22 games?

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