Louisville City FC picked up its fourth straight victory with a 3-1 win over Toronto FC II on Friday at Lamport Stadium. | Photo courtesy Martin Bazyl / Toronto FC II
1. Louisville City FC’s 3-1 victory over Toronto FC II on Friday night at Lamport Stadium kept the side in control of its destiny for a second-place finish in the Eastern Conference. With the win, Louisville jumped three points clear of Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC ahead of the Pennsylvania side’s top-three clash with FC Cincinnati on Saturday at Highland Stadium. Louisville will be hoping to see the Hounds drop points against the 2018 USL Regular Season champion but can secure the second spot – and with it the potential to host two home games in the Eastern Conference playoffs – with victories against North Carolina FC and Indy Eleven next week.
2. Louisville City FC midfielder George Davis IV came off the bench in the 68th minute to make his 200th career USL appearance, becoming the first player to reach that milestone in the league's modern era. Davis IV has scored 54 goals over his eight USL seasons, one of only five players to reach the 50-goal landmark in the league's modern era and has been named to the USL All-League Team on three occasions. Davis IV’s teammate Cameron Lancaster also came off the bench to make some history of his own as he tied the USL’s single-season scoring record with his 22nd goal of the campaign. Lancaster played a one-two with Ilija Ilic before firing a left-footed shot past TFC II goalkeeper Caleb Patterson-Sewell for Louisville’s third goal of the night in the 81st minute. With the tally, Lancaster matched the mark originally set by former Louisville forward Matt Fondy in 2015 as he extended his lead in the race for the USL's Golden Boot.
3. Fresno FC snapped a six-game winless run with a 3-0 victory over Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC on Friday night at Chukchansi Park. Christian Chaney, Alex Cooper and Jemal Johnson scored to help the hosts secure their first win since August 18 – when it picked up three points in a 1-0 home victory over Saint Louis FC. Fresno will now head into its season finale against Real Monarchs SLC next Saturday with some confidence as the side tries to spoil the Monarchs’ hopes of claiming a top-four spot in the West.
FRESNO, Calif. – Fresno FC defeated Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC 3-0 on Friday night at Chukchansi Park as the home side picked up its first win since August 18. The home side nearly took the lead three minutes into the match when Alex Cooper met Zachary Ellis-Hayden’s cross from the right wing, but his back-post header just sailed over the top-left corner of Moise Pouaty’s goal. Fresno threatened again in the 12th minute as Jemal Johnson’s left-footed shot from the top of the penalty area struck the post and Myer Bevan’s first-time follow up attempt slid just wide. The hosts finally made their early dominance count in the 23rd minute when Christian Chaney played a one-two with Juan Pablo Caffa before firing a left-footed shot from just outside the box into the top-left corner. Chaney, clearly feeling confident after scoring his seventh goal of the season, went for the spectacular three minutes later as he connected on a bicycle kick but fired the effort just wide of Pouaty’s right-hand post. Fresno doubled its advantage two minutes after halftime as Bevan found Alex Cooper just outside the top of the penalty area and the midfielder snuck a low shot past Pouaty and into the bottom-left corner. The Switchbacks came close to getting a goal back in the 59th minute as Shane Malcolm tried a shot from 25 yards out that was bending towards the top-right corner until Fresno goalkeeper Kyle Reynish got a touch to it at full stretch to keep it out. The Foxes sealed the points with 19 minutes to play as Jemal Johnson dribbled past a defender with ease before curling a right-footed shot past Pouaty to put his side up 3-0. Pouaty reacted quickly in the 81st minute to keep it the deficit at three as Juan Pablo Caffa tested the goalkeeper with a dipping left-footed strike from 30 yards out but the home side had already done enough to claim the three points.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match:
Christian Chaney, Fresno FC – Chaney was a constant threat early in the contest and his seventh goal of the season turned out to be the game-winner as Fresno snapped its six-game winless run.
TORONTO – Louisville City FC picked up its fourth win in a row and stayed on pace for a second-place finish in the Eastern Conference with a 3-1 victory over Toronto FC II on Friday night at Lamport Stadium. Louisville opened the scoring in the 11th minute with a bit of direct attacking play as a long ball from the back wasn’t dealt with properly by the TFC II defense and Ilija Ilic was on hand to pounce on a poor clearance attempt before firing a shot that took a deflection on its way past goalkeeper Caleb Patterson-Sewell. The visitors threatened again five minutes later as Ilic played the ball to midfielder Devon Williams, who blazed a right-footed drive just over the crossbar from 30 yards out. Louisville thought it should’ve had a penalty in the 25th minute when Brian Ownby’s cross looked to have struck the arm of Toronto defender Kyle Bjornethun, but referee Pierre-Luc Lauziere waved play on. The visitors tested Patterson-Sewell again in the 39th minute as the goalkeeper tipped Paco Craig’s header over the crossbar, but Louisville doubled the lead on the resulting corner kick as Alex Souahy headed home Oscar Jimenez’s delivery for his third goal of the season. Ayo Akinola tried to cut the deficit in half for the hosts 16 minutes after halftime as he cut inside a Louisville defender but his shot went straight at goalkeeper Tim Dobrowolski. Souahy nearly had his second a minute later as his header from another Jimenez set piece forced Patterson-Sewell into a left-handed save at full stretch. Akinola put the ball in the back of the net for Toronto in the 74th minute, but the goal didn’t stand as the linesman judged the forward to be in an offside position as he gathered Tsubasa Endoh’s through pass. Substitute Cameron Lancaster scored Louisville’s third of the night seven minutes later as he slotted a left-footed shot from the left side of the box into the bottom-right corner for his 22nd goal of the season to match the USL single-season record. Toronto got on the board three minutes from time as Jordan Perruzza’s left-footed shot ended Dobrowolski’s shutout but it was mere consolation as the visitors claimed all three points.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match:
Ilija Ilic, Louisville City FC – Ilic was instrumental in Louisville’s attack all night as he completed 75.7 percent of his passes, scored the game’s opening goal and set up Cameron Lancaster for the team’s third late on.