Detroit City FC goalkeeper, Evan Louro, was voted TheCup.us Player of the Round for the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup First Round. This was due, not only to his clean sheet over 120 minutes against the Michigan Bucks (PDL), but also for the two saves he made in the penalty kick shootout that helped DCFC advance to the Second Round for the first time in club history.
One of the biggest of Louro’s 13 saves came in the 96th minute. Louro would come up huge when Bucks midfielder, Adam Najem, would try to chip him from 18 yards out. Louro tracked back and dove to push Najem’s shot over the crossbar to keep the game tied at 0-0.
“Honestly I was thinking please save it because I don’t want to get a text from Adam on the drive home talking trash,” said Louro, who was a teammate of Najem with the Red Bulls academy.
City defender, Bret Nason, would close out the game in penalties, winning 4-3, but before he could do that, Louro would come up with a diving save on Bucks midfielder, Brad Dunwell, to keep the penalties at 3-3.
“Evan was huge for that victory,” City head coach Ben Pirmann said. “He was man of the match during the run of play as well as in the shootout. His presence on the field was second to none.”
Advancing was extra sweet for Detroit City as they avenge last year’s 3-0 drubbing by the Bucks in the opening round of the Open Cup.
DCFC will head to Louisville to take on Louisville City, but they will be without Louro, the homegrown product of the New York Red Bulls, as he heads back to New Jersey, his home state, to train with the club for the rest of the summer.
“It’s difficult (leaving) because I feel like I grew a solid relationship with the club in a very short amount of time,” Louro said. “I have been at the New York Red Bulls since I was 13 so being familiar and comfortable there makes it easier.”
This was not Louro’s first US Open Cup experience. He started two games for the Red Bulls U-23s in 2014, back when they were a member of the NPSL. He made five saves to help the Red Bulls defeat the PDL’s Vermont Voltage 2-1 before falling to the Pittsburgh Riverhounds of the USL, 3-1.
The former University of Michigan netminder is the first Detroit City player to take home the award as he beat out Ash Apollon (Seattle Sounders U-23s), Charlie Sales (West Chester United) and Jamie Siaj (Charlotte Eagles) for the honor. He also becomes just the second goalkeeper from the NPSL team to win the award, joining Gregory Hartley from Chattanooga FC from last year’s opening round.
The award is voted on by TheCup.us staff and a select panel from the North American Soccer Reporters.
Penalty kick shootout: Detroit City vs. Michigan Bucks