Louisville City FC's Joshua Wynder put in a stellar display as LouCity recorded a shutout at home on Saturday afternoon ahead of a crucial clash with San Antonio FC next weekend. | Photo courtesy Em-Dash Photography / Louisville City FC
There’s a moment early in the second half of Louisville City FC’s victory against Detroit City FC that might sum up where 17-year-old Joshua Wynder is right now as a player.
Le Rouge have an opening after a slip in midfield as Connor Rutz takes possession with Yazeed Matthews outside him on the right flank. Wynder back-peddles initially, anticipating the pass. When it arrives, his burst gets him in position to pick the ball off Matthews’ feet with enough control to retain possession inside the touchline.
He controls, turns the ball back inside to a teammate, and the danger is averted.
There were a handful of moments like that on Saturday afternoon for the United States U-20 international, illustrating again why he’s held in such high regard. Wynder finished the day winning 7 of 7 ground duels and 3 of 3 aerial duels as well as making nine recoveries and four clearances. He was also fouled four times, using his positioning to win fouls and alleviate pressure.
It added up to a fine overall defensive display for the hosts, and an important win.
“I thought we controlled the first half and I thought we did an excellent job in the second half,” said LouCity Head Coach Danny Cruz. “That is the standard and we need to make sure that no complacency sets in, and we look forward to another big game next weekend.”
The big game Cruz refers to is next Saturday’s clash between LouCity and San Antonio FC, a rematch of the 2022 Championship Final. Wynder started that contest, and he could be one of the key players this time around as his side looks to gain a little revenge against SAFC after the Texas club’s victory last November.
With the FIFA U-20 World Cup little over a month away, the spotlight is only going to get brighter on the top young talent.
Here’s who else caught our attention in the past week…
Fidel Barajas, Charleston Battery – Another week, another assist for the Mexico U-17 phenom, who turned 17 years old last Wednesday. Barajas is now tied for the league-lead with three helpers this season going into a big game against Tampa Bay this week.
Bryce Jamison, Orange County SC – The 17-year-old found the net in midweek in OCSC’s Open Cup victory and will be wondering how he didn’t in El Paso for a second consecutive season. With two shots on target and two chances created, Jamison continues to look bright.
Alex Waggoner, New Mexico United – The 2022 USL Academy League Playoffs Golden Boot winner made his USL Championship debut on Saturday night in Monterey Bay and was eagerly active as a late substitute. Looking for more, soon.
Duran Ferree, San Diego Loyal SC – The United States U-17 goalkeeper isn’t going to usurp Koke Vegas for First Team duty yet, but it was good to see a first professional shutout for Ferree in SD Loyal’s Open Cup victory against lower division opposition.
Andres Robles, New Mexico United – Speaking of the Open Cup, shout-out to 19-year-old USL Academy signing Andres Robles for his two assists after coming on for United against UDA Soccer last Tuesday night.