Echo Special Feature: Angel City FC fight back against Racing Louisville FC, draw 2-2


Photo by Yousef Manna - Sports Editor

Angel City FC was founded in 2020, and this is the team’s second season competing in the National Woman’s Soccer League.

Ysabella Gonzalez, Reporter

The Echo had the opportunity to attend and cover Angel City FC’s National Women’s Soccer League game against Racing Louisville FC on Saturday, April 15 at BMO Stadium. 

Angel City Football Club overturned a two-goal deficit at half-time to tie 2-2 with Racing Louisville Football Club in the team’s third National Women’s Soccer League game of the season.

Louisville took an early lead as they scored a penalty three minutes into the game, bringing silence to the home crowd at BMO Stadium. Angel City was unable to respond, and 32 minutes in, Louisville scored again, doubling their lead.  

“You never want to give up a penalty kick that early,” midfielder Savannah McCaskill said. “We wanted to keep the ball and stay compact, but that’s not what we did in the first half. Instead, we came out on our back foot and weren’t really prepared for what they were going to throw at us. Going into the second half, we knew we had to be better.” 

Angel City returned re-energized in the second half as they looked to stage a comeback. The home team applied pressure on Louisville from the get-go, and their high press paid dividends 23 minutes into the half. Forward Katie Johnson found the net off McCaskill’s free kick to get Angel City on the board. 

In their second NWSL game of the season against Orlando Pride, Angel City scored the winning goal in the game’s final play in a fighting performance. That fight was on display once more as McCaskill scored the equalizer with three minutes of regular time to spare. 

“Savannah led the categories in terms of statistics, which included shots on target, crosses attempted, completed passes in the final third, completed passes, successful dribbles and second in chances created, as well as a goal. That’s one hell of a performance,” Head Coach Freya Coombe said. 

In the final minute of regular time, up-and-coming forward Alyssa Thompson hit the post, which almost completed a turnaround win for Angel City. Angel City kept most of the ball during the game with 59.9% of the possession, and had a total of 25 shots throughout, almost double what the visitors had. 

“We were able to win balls, had better shape behind the ball to be able to stop those transitional moments. We were a little bit more patient rather than sending balls into an empty box. We were able to possess the ball a little more and look for those moments to attack and that was key,” Coombe said. 

Johnson’s performance landed her player of the match, which was announced on the screen after the game. Before the game, the team celebrated her 100-game mark, bringing her family on the field to commemorate the moment. 

Having my family and friends here makes my off-field experience a lot more enjoyable,” Johnson said. “It makes me happier and more excited to be on the field. It definitely feels like a full circle moment for me having grown up in this area. When I was younger, I would always wish there was a professional team here, so it feels really special for me to be here. Everything happens for a reason, and I believe that I was meant to be here.”

Moving forward, Angel City will work on starting the game with the same energy they have at the end of matches, as McCaskill said that they did not show up like they needed to in the first half.  

“Everyone saw in the second half, fatigue wasn’t an issue,” McCaskill said. “We had the energy, we had everything that we needed to go and get two goals back. That’s just something that we have to focus on as a group going forward, that it’s not a fatigue issue.” 

Despite the slower start, Johnson said she was pleased with the efforts of the team.

“We definitely showed the grit our team has and that we will fight to the end. We never gave up. That’s a really important characteristic and value to have for a team that we can build off of,” Johnson said.

Angel City’s next game will be against OL Reign on Wednesday, April 19 at 7 p.m. in BMO Stadium. It will be the team’s first match of the NWSL Challenge Cup.