A ‘two’ team, in a midweek game, in a stadium with no running water or locker rooms.
In other words:
Loudoun United – The Broad Strokes
While the Hounds emerge from their 3-0 thumping in New Jersey of Red Bulls II, Loudoun are also returning triumphant from an away game win. DC United Junior went all the way to New Mexico to grind out a 1-0 win over a very, very good NM United team, after the Albuquerque team went down to ten men on a boneheaded red card in the 29th minute. They got their goal and then took their foot off the gas and got the win. It was their first of 2021; Loudoun sit 1-0-2 (WTL).
Congrats to Jovanny Bolívar on being named to the @USLChampionship Team of the Week!
How could he not be after this goal 👏 pic.twitter.com/MjqGH4uUMj
— Loudoun United FC (@LoudounUnitedFC) June 1, 2021
This is a ‘Wednesday after a Saturday’ game for both teams, so expect a tremendous amount of squad rotation. Loudoun finished bottom of the table in Group F last year, if you’ll recall, finishing an abysmal 1-3-9 on the year, and losing to the Riverhounds 2-0, 3-0, and 1-0. In their first season in USL, 2019, they also lost all their matches to the Hounds, falling 1-0 and 2-1. But hey, at least they scored on us that year.
Tactics and Personnel
Loudoun play three at the back in either a 3-5-2 or a 3-4-3, depending on your perspective. With a formation like this and with their relative inexperience as a team and a squad, the questions are really about fullback usage and getting back in transition, and about if the central midfield, which might just have two players, will be overrun if the Hounds use three midfielders.
Based on last years play, Loudoun’s problem is typically that they are young and aggressive and physical, but sloppy and error prone. With a rotated squad, I expect a lot of that. If the Hounds can pounce on unsecured receptions in the midfield, they will win this match going away.
I really like 20 year-old forward Kailou Amoustapha – dude can flat out fly. A legitimate tactic for Loudoun might just be boring boring long diagonals over the top to him to outrun everyone. In fancy soccer parlance ‘his product in the final third is sometimes lacking’.
I wrote about 19 year old midfielder Ted Ku-DiPietro last year. He’s very good, but of course, at one of the hardest positions to break through at in professional soccer. If the DC United academy product really wants to progress to the next level, he will need to start blowing up in the minors, and become an automatic first-eleven selection for his manager, Ryan Martin.
The captain of this squad is 25 year-old elder statesman Timmy Mehl, a defender for the very talented Indiana University college team, where he went to two NCAA College Cup final fours.
Finally, bench defender Robby Dambrot graduated from Pitt in 2018.
Saturday’s Loudoun United Lineup