Photo courtesy Em-Dash Photography / Louisville City FC
The inaugural USL Summer Showcase arrives on Wednesday night, bringing together two of the Championship’s high-profile clubs who are currently experiencing very different fortunes this season for a nationally televises clash at Lynn Family Stadium.
Here’s a look ahead to the action.
Venue: Lynn Family Stadium
Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET
538.com Predictor: LOU 63%, PHX 17%, Draw 20%
The Lowdown: Current Eastern Conference leader Louisville City FC will try to add to a five-game winning streak as it plays host to Phoenix Rising FC for the first time since the sides met in the 2018 USL Championship Final, with the visitors in major need of a turnaround to boost their postseason chances this year. LouCity claimed the prior meeting four years ago 1-0 thanks to a second-half goal by Luke Spencer, and while times have changed there could be as many as six players that started in that contest in action on Wednesday night. One of those is Brian Ownby, who scored twice this past Saturday as Louisville took a 2-1 victory against Memphis 901 FC at AutoZone Park to bolster its place at the top of the standings. Ownby has now scored a pair of goals in each of the past two outings, moving to seven goals this season as he fills in as the No. 9 in LouCity’s lineup with both Cameron Lancaster and Wilson Harris recently sidelined with injury. Phoenix also visited Memphis in its most recent outing on July 9 but suffered a 3-1 defeat as a first-half goal by Kevon Lambert – another of the participants in the 2018 Championship Final – wasn’t enough against a title-contending 901 FC lineup. Phoenix is now winless in its last six games and seven points outside the playoff positions, putting its run of five consecutive postseason berths since the club’s rebranding prior to the 2017 season in jeopardy.
Louisville City FC – Niall McCabe: One of the starters in the 2018 Championship Final, McCabe has recorded assists in three consecutive contests and could play an influential role in midfield for the hosts once again.
Phoenix Rising FC – Aodhan Quinn: Part of Louisville’s original squad in 2015, Quinn has recorded four goals and four assists in 15 appearances and will likely be essential to have a big performance if Rising FC is to spring an upset on the road.