BHM’s fourth match of the USL Championship season ended in a 0-0 deadlock despite the hosts doubling up the visitors in total shots
BIRMINGHAM, AL (April 2, 2022) — Birmingham Legion FC drew 0-0 with Eastern Conference rival Louisville City FC in a match that will leave the Black & Gold, and their fans, frustrated. A first half red card issued to Lou City’s Napo Matsoso saw the hosts play a majority of the contest up a man, but BHM was unable to capitalize on its chances.
The first 45’ saw Legion FC tally eight shots, applying the pressure early as the club looked to break its goal drought and earn its first win of the season. Forward Marlon Santos led the way with three shots on goal, but none of his efforts were able to find the back of the net. The clearest chance for Louisville came midway through the first half via Brian Ownby, who had his attempt handily saved by Birmingham goalkeeper Matt VanOekel. VanOekel nabbed three saves on the night, and he and the backline earned their first shutout of the year.
The tone of the match became intense on the stroke of halftime, as LOU’s Napo Matsoso was shown a red card after shoving BHM midfielder Zach Herivaux in the face. Despite the man advantage, Legion FC managed the same number of shots in the second half as the first, but Louisville keeper Kyle Morton made five huge saves, including multiple at point blank range, one versus one with Legion attackers Prosper Kasim, Enzo Martinez and others.
After the home side put together a performance worthy of three points, not grabbing the win left the team frustrated after the match, but Head Coach Tommy Soehn felt like the effort and chances created were an improvement from last time out.
“I think our defending was good, and overall, our performance was really good,” said Soehn. “One of the things you have to be good at with Louisville is your shape, and I thought our shape — even when we pressured — was quite good and we didn’t give them a whole lot. This performance, while it’s frustrating, I was really pleased with the effort and the commitment to the game plan. It hurts right now because we’re starving for a result, but if we perform like that eventually we’ll break that wall, and the goals will come. As long as we’re playing like this, with a marked improvement from Colorado, and that was what we were out to do. It’s frustrating because we didn’t come away with more, but all the signs are there, and we’ve just got to keep trucking along and once we get one it will open the floodgates.
“[New signing Juan Agudelo] will be a cult hero if he scores a goal! Nah, look, he’s going to help. He’s got a great soccer brain, his style of play suits us, and he’s got a knack to score big goals and important goals and set them up. We could’ve used him tonight and we look forward to what he brings.”
Captain Phanuel Kavita when asked about the team’s performance:
“Defensively, I think it went well. The big positive is getting a zero in the back, and for me that’s been the biggest thing — wanting to get a zero. I think defensively we’ve improved, so hopefully we can continue to get zeros.
Moving forward, the sky is the limit. We have a very good team, the teams we’re playing are really good, but I think we’re also a really quality team. Good guys, good group of players in this locker room so I think we need to continue to build off of that and build on the things that we need to build on, both defensively and offensively. I think offensively we’re creating chances, it’s just unfortunate, unlucky, and I think we’ve just got to keep knocking on that door and eventually we’re going to get something.”
|1st Half||2nd Half|
BHM – 3-4-3 – #1 Matt VanOekel; #21 Alex Crognale, #27 Thomas Vancaeyezeele, #3 Phanuel Kavita; #24 Jonny Dean, #6 Anderson Asiedu, #20 Zach Herivaux, #5 Mikey Lopez (82’ – #77 Macky Diop); #19 Enzo Martinez, #11 Marlon Santos (60’ – #8 Bruno Lapa), #10 Prosper Kasim
LOU – 3-5-2 – #1 Kyle Morton; #6 Wes Charpie, #66 Josh Wynder, #3 Amadou Dia; #15 Manny Perez, #13 Corben Bone (80’ – #21 Ray Serrano), #7 Napo Matsoso (42’ Red Card), #36 Paolo DelPiccolo ©, #77 Enoch Mushagalusa (46’ – #4 Sean Totsch); #14 Wilson Harris (46’ – #8 Carlos Moguel Jr), #10 Brian Ownby (90’ – #68 Hunter Sekelsky)
This Thursday, April 7, Legion FC travels to Tuscaloosa to take on NPSL club Southern States SC at 7:00pm in the second round of the 107th edition of the U.S. Open Cup. Season ticket holders and University of Alabama students get free admission, and tickets can be purchased HERE.
The boys in Black and Gold then return home to Protective Stadium to host Hartford Athletic next weekend on Sunday, April 10, at 4:00 PM. Get your tickets today!
For all club news and updates, be sure to follow @bhmlegion on social media and keep an eye on bhmlegion.com and the Legion FC app. Download the Legion FC app today on Apple or Android, and sync our 2022 schedule to your calendar HERE.