SAN DIEGO — San Diego Loyal SC concluded their season-opening four-game road trip tonight with their fourth loss, allowing goals late in each half in a 2-1 loss to Louisville City FC in Louisville, Kentucky.
Louisville City FC was awarded a penalty kick one minute into stoppage time in the first half when referee Ismir Pekmic ruled that midfielder Jack Blake had fouled Napo Matsoso in the penalty area.
Goalkeeper Trey Muse made a diving stop of Cameron Lancaster’s penalty kick but the ball went right back to Lancaster who put a left-footed shot from the center of the penalty area into the net for his first goal of the season three minutes into first-half stoppage time.
Louisville City FC increased its lead to 2-0 in the 88th minute when Kyle Greig headed a volley in the penalty area, made a half turn and was able to push the ball past Muse with his leg while facing away from the goal.
Greig scored eight minutes after entering the game in his debut with Louisville City FC (2-0-1).
The 31-year-old signed with the USL Championship team Thursday. He had played with Saint Louis FC, Louisville City FC’s former rival that folded upon conclusion of last season as a Major League Soccer franchise prepares to launch in the same market.
SD Loyal coach Landon Donovan was ejected shortly after the goal for failing to return to the coach’s box.
SD Loyal avoided its second shutout in three games when Blake put a right-footed shot from outside the penalty area into the top right corner of the net for his first goal of the season.
SD Loyal trailed 20-11 in shots and 10-5 in shots on goal. Muse, who was born in Louisville and played for the city’s Derby City Rovers youth teams, made eight saves. Louisville City FC goalkeeper Chris Hubbard made four in front of a 50% capacity crowd of 7,652 at Lynn Family Stadium.
The victory was the first for Danny Cruz as Louisville City FC’s interim coach, a role he assumed on April 27 after the team and Louisville City FC coach John Hackworth mutually agreed to terminate Hackworth’s contract with the club. Louisville City FC tied Birmingham Legion FC, 1-1, May 8 in Cruz’s debut.
Cruz was the club’s top assistant for three seasons before becoming interim coach of the second division men’s professional soccer team.
Hackworth is the father of SD Loyal midfielder Morgan Hackworth, who entered Saturday’s game in the 61st minute.
SD Loyal (0-4-0) will play its home opener next Saturday against Las Vegas Lights FC at Torero Stadium.