Oscar Jimenez of Louisville City celebrates an equalizing goal against the New England Revolution in the 2018 US Open Cup. Photo: EM Dash Photography
Louisville City FC notched another massive win in the club’s short history as it took down its first MLS team in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.
Louisville came back from a goal down on two occasions to knock off the New England Revolution, 3-2, in the Fourth Round of the US Open Cup Tuesday evening at Lynn Stadium, on the campus of the University of Louisville. Former Houston Dynamo winger Brian Ownby was a threat all night and he capped an impressive performance with an absolute laser into the upper 90 midway through the second half that helped give LouCity the win.
“You could see the juice out there,” Ownby said with a smile, referring to the high emotional energy on display for Louisville City. “We had everyone buzzing around. Everyone had each other’s backs regardless of a mistake here or there. We always believe in the process … and I think that’s showed today.”
In fact, had you shown up at Dr. Mark and Cindy Lynn Stadium and not known which team was in MLS, you could be mistaken for believing it was Louisville City, which took the game to New England for nearly 70 minutes before sitting back and defending its lead.
A raucous crowd at kickoff was silenced just five minutes into the match when Louisville City goalkeeper Tim Dobrowolski misplayed a ball and Revolution winger Mark Segbers was able to tap the ball in for a quick 1-0 lead.
It didn’t take long for Louisville City to find its answer. Ownby, who sent the Revolution defense into fits all game, cut inside with the ball in the 11th minute and sent a chip towards the left side of the box. Wing back Oscar Jimenez arrived and slotted home just under the dive of Revolution goalkeeper Brad Knighton to tie the game.
Ownby finished the match with 12 duels, putting his body on the line, where he won seven of those against the Revolution. When he did have a chance to run against the defense, he wound up with three key passes, three crosses and three shots. “We broke a very important rule: When you go and play teams that are in lower divisions than you … you have to at least match their work rate,” Revolution head coach Brad Friedel said. “It’s a very simple thing. We spoke about it for the past two days.” “Fair play to Louisville,” Friedel added. “They deserved to win today. Absolutely. No issues with them advancing with the type of performance that we put out.” Once again, another Louisville City error gave the Revolution another lifeline. A long-ball into the box was shanked by Femi Hollinger-Janzen towards goal. But after Dobrowolski missed handling it, Louisville City defender Pat McMahon knocked the ball into the net. Following the goal, Louisville City pushed forward and were rewarded. George Davis IV found Tottenham product – and onetime teammate of Friedel with Spurs – Cameron Lancaster at the top of the box. The Englishman swerved and fired a low strike that may have taken a deflection before finding the back of the net to tie the game at 2-2 in the 37th minute.
After a chance for both teams to regroup at halftime, Louisville City once again came out the more aggressive team in the second half, and it finally paid off with Ownby. The 27-year-old star brushed off a challenge from Revs midfielder Scott Caldwell that left Caldwell on his back before charging up and unleashing a strike that had eyes for the upper 90. Knighton dove to save it but was only able to get fingertips on the singing strike.
Louisville City held off a handful of attacks from New England late, still managing to force turnovers with its press. Juan Agudelo and Kelyn Rowe each earned shoutouts from Friedel but neither were able to find the equalizer.
As the final whistle neared, fans in the packed crowd of 5,196 chanted “USL,” showing their support for the league which Louisville City lives.
“Incredible from the guys to have that mentality, not just to win but to win in that manner. It’s very, very pleasing,” Louisville City coach James O’Connor said.