As soon as Brian Ownby brushed off Scott Caldwell as if the New England Revolution midfielder was a youth team player, Ownby had one thing in his mind.
Four touches later, Ownby put the cherry on top of a fantastic performance for Louisville City with a laser of a shot to the top corner, helping the USL side defeat the Revolution, 3-2, in a wild and entertaining Fourth Round match in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup (WATCH BELOW).
Ownby’s goal and overall individual performance earned him TheCup.us Player of the Round, beating out fellow USL player Justin Davis of Nashville FC and Minnesota United FC goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth for the honor.
The award is voted on by the staff of TheCup.us and a select panel from the North American Soccer Reporters.
“You could see the juice out there,” Ownby said with a laugh. “Everyone was buzzing around, everyone had each other’s backs regardless of a mistake here or there. We always believed in the process, and always had each others backs, and I think that showed (in the win).”
The former University of Virginia star began his professional career with the Houston Dynamo, after being drafted seventh overall in the old MLS Supplemental Draft. Ownby made the team and played parts of three seasons with the club, including making 21 appearances in 2014, though mostly off the bench, and perhaps played out of position.
But after two years back in his native Virginia with the Richmond Kickers and now in his second season in Louisville, Ownby has carved out a position for himself as a left winger, sometimes swapping and showing up on the right wing.
What’s clear is he’s at his best when he has the ball and can run at opposing defenses, taking advantage of his pace and quick acceleration to put defenders on their heels. He did that all evening against the Revolution, running himself into the ground and keeping the Revolution from pushing up on the right wing thanks to the danger of Ownby on the counter.
He set up three goal-scoring chances, including assisting on Oscar Jimenez’s goal, and had three shots in the match against the Revolution. Ownby also won both of his aerial duels and finished second on the team in overall duels, constantly putting his body on the line to win the ball.
Ownby recorded seven goals and four assists for Louisville on its run to the USL Cup title in 2017, and after a slow start, the June 5 match against the Revolution brought out the best in Ownby, and could set him up for more success in the Fifth Round of the US Open Cup.
Preliminary Round: Rasmus Hansen (Brooklyn Italians, NPSL)
First Round: Chuka Aruh (Inter Nashville FC, NPSL)
Second Round: Christian Okeke (NTX Rayados, USASA)
Third Round: Allisson Faramilio (FC Golden State Force, PDL)
Fourth Round: Brian Ownby (Louisville City FC, USL)