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05 / 20

United’s Inaugural U.S. Open Cup Experience Ends in 1-0 Loss

WRITTEN BY: Jeremy Sampson
PUBLISHED ON: May 20, 2015

On a second half own goal, Lansing United’s inaugural trip through the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup came to an end after a 1-0 loss to professional club Louisville City FC at the East Lansing Soccer Complex Wednesday.

In the first few rounds of the U.S. Open Cup, matches tend to become about and come down to the gaps between different levels of amateur and professional soccer leagues in the U.S. After Wednesday’s match against Louisville, which was the first time in city history that Lansing welcomed a professional soccer club within its limits, head coach/GM Eric Rudland could affirm that the confidence that the club used throughout the week to prepare for the professional club’s visit was warranted.

“We’re not far off.”

“You look at playing against a professional side, where we lose 1-0 off an own goal, we create chances and chase at the end, I think it just shows us and proves to us that we have good players,” Rudland said. “I told the guys in the changing room before the match that there will be guys in our team this summer that are playing for an USL Pro side next season.”

In the first half, forward Matt Brown missed a few early chances within the Louisville 18-yard box during the first 10 minutes of the match. After the first few minutes of the game, Louisville settled in defensively and began taking control of possession offensively. Between the 15th and 22nd minutes, Louisville nearly completely controlled possession in the United half and ended the first half controlling over 60 percent of possession, without a single shot on goal and still deadlocked 0-0.

“Our backline was great all day and really held [Louisville] in check,” goalkeeper Quinn McAnaney said. “I don’t think [Louisville] really expected that out of us.”

Three minutes into the second half, an unfortunate deflection from Brown’s head off a Charlie Adams shot forced McAnaney to watch the redirected ball head to an unexpected corner of the goal, giving Louisville a 1-0 lead quickly after the second half whistle blew.

“It was going to my right and it kind of just deflected off Matt and back into the left,” McAnaney said. “That’s one of those where maybe I can stay up a little bit longer, but in the end, it’s just unfortunate.”

After Louisville took the 1-0 lead, United began to press higher, pull back some of the game’s possession and create some of United’s best chances all night.

In the evenly matched second half, as United began working their way through the Louisville defense and creating opportunities to level the match, the Dean Trailways Man of the Match, McAnaney, made a couple impressive saves to allow his club the confidence that the game was still in reach.

“It could have been 2-0 or 3-0 in the second half,” Rudland said. “[Louisville] made a couple changes and brought some of their first choice players on…Credit to the backline and Quinn, they held strong.”

With Louisville leading 1-0 with 20 minutes remaining, United bolstered their offensive threat by moving left-back Ade Adeniyi to striker in hopes that the U-23 Nigerian national team system product could spark the offense.

Adeniyi did just that, creating a few goal-scoring opportunities for himself and other teammates in the final minutes of the game. In the 89th minute, a 20-yard rip from Adeniyi beat Louisville goalkeeper Greg Ranjitsingh, brushed the outside of the near goal post and appeared to the fans to level the score, but never actually entered the net.

Ultimately in the second half, United could not find the back of the net to even the score after nearly leveling possession and creating as many goal-scoring opportunities as Louisville had.

“I probably should have had a hat-trick really,” defender Ben Lamb said. “I had a couple of volleys and a header as well.”

With Wednesday’s 1-0 loss, United’s U.S. Open Cup trek comes to an end while Louisville earned a trip to Indianapolis to play second-tier North American Soccer League (NASL) side Indy Eleven on May 27 in the Third Round of the U.S. Open Cup.

United has a quick turnaround as the NPSL regular season kicks off in less than 48 hours against the Indiana Fire on Friday, May 22 at 7:00 p.m. at the East Lansing Soccer Complex.

Tickets are still available for Friday’s match against Indiana and can be purchased online or at the gate.

Photo: Hoffman Photography