Louisville City FC

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Louisville City FC
LCFC Shield Logo.svg
Full name Louisville City Football Club
Nickname(s) Lou City, The Boys in Purple, Los Morados
Founded June 4, 2014; 4 years ago (June 4, 2014)
Stadium Louisville Slugger Field
Louisville, Kentucky[1]
Stadium
capacity
13,131 (full capacity)
8,000 (soccer)
Chairman John Neace
Head Coach vacant
League United Soccer League
2017 1st, Eastern Conference
Playoffs: Champions
Website Club website
Current season

Louisville City Football Club is an American professional soccer club based in Louisville, Kentucky. The team plays in the Eastern Conference of the United Soccer League (USL), which is currently the second tier of the American soccer pyramid.

The club was founded in 2014 and began USL play in 2015. After reaching the Eastern Conference finals of the USL playoffs in both its first two seasons, the club went on to win the 2017 USL Cup in only its third season of existence.

History[edit]

In 2014 former Louisville City FC principal owner Wayne Estopinal acquired the USL license previously held by Orlando City when the latter began play in Major League Soccer (MLS) as an expansion side.[2] Orlando City SC held a minority ownership stake in Louisville City FC during the latter's inaugural campaign in 2015.

The club maintained the colors of the Orlando City franchise, and installed former Orlando City player-coach James O'Connor as its first manager.[3]

Beginning with the 2016 season, Orlando City SC ended its affiliation with LCFC and began operating the Orlando City B USL team. Orlando City SC plans to maintain ties with Louisville.[4]

Stadium[edit]

Louisville Slugger Field (2015–present)[edit]

Since the inaugural 2015 season, home games have been played at Louisville Slugger Field. It is a multi-use facility that serves as the primary home of the Louisville Bats, Triple-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. Though Slugger Field officially seats 13,131 for baseball games, an attendance of 8,000 is considered a soccer sellout due to limited viewing in the stadium's current baseball diamond configuration.[5] The pitcher's mound at Slugger Field was retrofitted with a retractable jack to allow a level playing surface for soccer games prior to the start of the inaugural season.[6]

Planned Butchertown stadium[edit]

In April 2017, the ownership group announced that it had an option to purchase five adjacent parcels of land, totaling 40 acres (16 ha), in the Butchertown neighborhood just to the east of Slugger Field for a mixed-use project that would include a 10,000-seat soccer stadium. The plan initially called for the stadium to be expandable to 20,000 seats, and the overall complex would also include offices, retail space, and a hotel.[7]

On September 22, 2017, Louisville Metro mayor Greg Fischer announced a stadium deal that calls for the merged city–county government to borrow $30 million in order to purchase the land, with Louisville City investors responsible for developing the site and repaying about half of the borrowed funds. While the initial capacity of the stadium did not change, the revised plan allowed for possible expansion to 25,000, and it was also revealed that the overall plan could include a second hotel.[8]

On October 26, 2017, Louisville Metro Council voted overwhelmingly to approve the stadium deal shortly after the ownership group secured $130 million in private financing for the overall project; the council voted at the same time to apply to the Kentucky General Assembly for a tax-increment financing district for the project.[9] The stadium is currently projected to open in March 2020, satisfying a USL mandate that all franchises play in soccer-specific stadiums by the 2020 season.[7][8]

By the time the official groundbreaking ceremony was held on June 28, 2018, the planned initial capacity had changed to 11,000.[10]

Supporters[edit]

In 2013, a group of soccer fans in Louisville formed a supporters group, The Coopers, to build support for professional soccer in Louisville.[11] The Coopers take their name from Louisville's bourbon distilling tradition, where coopers make barrels that are used to age bourbon and give it a distinct flavor.[12]

In January 2014, a potential local ownership group invited the owners of Orlando City Soccer Club to Louisville to meet with The Coopers. After the meeting, Orlando City owner Phil Rawlins noted that The Coopers were already a "great supporters group" and predicted that a professional team would be successful in Louisville.[13]

The Coopers occupy a supporter zone in sections 121–123 of Slugger Field behind the Preston Street goal.[14]

Rivalries[edit]

Louisville City's main league and regional rivals are FC Cincinnati and Saint Louis FC.

King's Cup[edit]

Louisville City FC played and won its first professional match 2–0 against Saint Louis FC on opening day of the 2015 USL season. Since then the two sides have fostered a friendly rivalry for the King's Cup.

Dirty River Derby[edit]

The annual rivalry with FC Cincinnati for the Dirty River Derby, also known as "River Cities Cup", is one of the most hotly contested matches in lower division US soccer. The two cities are located a mere 100 miles apart from each other along the Ohio River. Due to this proximity, the matches tend to draw well and often feature aggressive play for local bragging rights.

Colors and badge[edit]

The team maintained the original colors of the Orlando City franchise; purple, gold and white. The first proposed team crest featured a golden Fleur-de-lis atop of a purple bourbon barrel. However, due to fan outcry this design was abandoned and a design contest was held to select a new crest.[15] The winning design consists of a purple Fleur-de-lis recessed into a golden bourbon barrel at the bottom with a partial skyline of the City of Louisville at the top.[16] The partial skyline includes Preston Pointe, Aegon Center, PNC Tower, and the Humana Building.

Sponsorship[edit]

Seasons Kit manufacturer Shirt sponsor
2015–2016 Adidas Humana
2017–present GE Appliances

Players[edit]

Current roster[edit]

As of December 5, 2017[17]

No. Position Player Nation
1 Goalkeeper Greg Ranjitsingh  Trinidad and Tobago
3 Defender Alexis Souahy  France
4 Defender Sean Totsch  United States
5 Defender Paco Craig  England
7 Midfielder Magnus Rasmussen  Denmark
9 Forward Cameron Lancaster  England
10 Midfielder Brian Ownby  United States
11 Midfielder Niall McCabe  Ireland
12 Forward Luke Spencer  United States
13 Goalkeeper Chris Hubbard  United States
14 Forward Ilija Ilić  Serbia
15 Defender Pat McMahon  United States
19 Midfielder Oscar Jimenez  United States
21 Defender Shaun Francis  Jamaica
22 Midfielder George Davis IV  United States
23 Midfielder Richard Ballard  United States
24 Midfielder Kyle Smith  United States
28 Goalkeeper Tim Dobrowolski  United States
36 Midfielder Paolo DelPiccolo  United States
80 Midfielder Devon Williams  Jamaica

Staff[edit]

  • John Neace – Chairman
  • Brad Estes – Executive Vice President
  • Davena Vowels – Controller
  • Patrick Stewart – Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing
  • Pat Denbow – Vice President, Partnerships & Business Development
  • Campbell Brewer – Director, Corporate Partnerships
  • Brad Gordon – Director, Business Development
  • Scott Stewart – Director, Public Relations & Broadcasting
  • David Walkovic – Director, Ticket Sales
  • Brandon Morris – Director, Operations

Coaching staff[edit]

Daniel Byrd and James O'Connor at an away game in 2017

Team records[edit]

All information in this section as of July 7, 2018

Year-by-year[edit]

Season United Soccer League Play-offs US Open Cup Top Scorer
P W L D GF GA Pts Pos Player Goals
2015 28 14 8 6 55 34 48 2nd, Eastern Conference Conference Finals 4R United States Matthew Fondy 22 (USL Record)
2016 30 17 4 9 52 27 60 2nd, Eastern Conference Conference Finals 3R United States Chandler Hoffman 14
2017 32 18 6 8 58 31 62 1st, Eastern Conference Champions 3R United States Luke Spencer 10
2018 16 8 3 5 24 17 29 3rd, Eastern Conference TBD QF England Cameron Lancaster 9

Head coaches[edit]

All Time Louisville City FC Coaching Statistics^
Coach Nationality Start End Games Win Loss Draw Win %
James O'Connor  Ireland June 4, 2014 June 30, 2018 125 71 26 28 056.80
Player Coaches‡  United States July 1, 2018 Present 1 1 0 0 100.00

^ Includes USL regular season, USL Playoffs, U.S. Open Cup. Excludes friendlies.
Luke Spencer, Paolo DelPiccolo, & George Davis IV appointed joint interim head coaches.[20]

Attendance average[edit]

Season Regular Season Playoffs Total Average
2015 6,765 8,517 6,882
2016 7,218 6,024 7,078
2017 8,601 9,500 8,781

Player records[edit]

All-time appearances[edit]

As of July 7th, 2018[21]
# Name Career USL Playoffs Open Cup Total
1 United States Tarek Morad 2015–2017 76 7 6 89
2 Republic of Ireland Niall McCabe 2015– 80 1 5 86
3 United States Kyle Smith 2016– 67 6 6 79
4 United States Sean Reynolds 2015–2017 61 4 6 71
5 Israel Guy Abend 2015–2017 60 3 3 66

All-time goals[edit]

As of July 7th, 2018[21]
# Name Career USL Playoffs Open Cup Total
1 England Cameron Lancaster 2015– 20 1 4 25
2 United States Matt Fondy 2015 22 2 0 24
3 United States Chandler Hoffman 2016 14 1 1 16
4 United States George Davis IV 2016– 14 1 0 15
4 United States Luke Spencer 2017– 12 1 1 14

All-time assists[edit]

As of July 7th, 2018[21]
# Name Career USL Playoffs Open Cup Total
1 Republic of Ireland Niall McCabe 2015– 12 0 2 14
1 United States Kyle Smith 2016– 11 1 1 13
2 United States Oscar Jimenez 2016– 9 1 3 13
4 United States Paolo DelPiccolo 2016– 10 0 1 11
5 United States Bryan Burke 2015 10 0 0 10

Honors[edit]

United Soccer League

Other

  • Kings Cup
    • Champions (4): 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
  • River Cities Cup
    • Champions (2): 2017, 2018

League honors[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Leonard, Connie (June 3, 2014). "Scheduling problems fixed for pro soccer at Slugger Field". WorldNow and WAVE TV. Retrieved June 3, 2014. 
  2. ^ Lintner, Jonathan (June 3, 2014). "Louisville pro soccer club to be unveiled Wednesday". The Courier-Journal. Retrieved June 3, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 20, 2014. Retrieved October 5, 2014. 
  4. ^ Tenorio, Paul (June 30, 2015). "Orlando City to own, operate USL franchise in 2016". Orlando Sentinel. 
  5. ^ Lintner, Jonathan (March 27, 2015). "Supporters ready for first Louisville City game". The Courier-Journal. Retrieved August 20, 2015. 
  6. ^ Lintner, Jonathan (February 26, 2015). "Retractable mound saves Louisville City FC". The Courier-Journal. Retrieved June 11, 2015. 
  7. ^ a b Green, Marcus (April 11, 2017). "Louisville City FC seeks to build new stadium in Butchertown". Louisville, KY: WDRB. Retrieved April 17, 2017. 
  8. ^ a b Otis, Chris (September 22, 2017). "City to put $30 million into Butchertown soccer stadium for Louisville City FC". Louisville, KY: WDRB. Retrieved September 23, 2017. 
  9. ^ Lerner, Danielle (October 26, 2017). "Louisville City FC gets money to build its soccer stadium in Butchertown". The Courier-Journal. Louisville, KY. Retrieved October 27, 2017. 
  10. ^ Bard, Jessica (June 28, 2018). "Soccer fans, officials help Louisville City FC break ground on new stadium". Louisville, KY: WDRB. Retrieved July 6, 2018. 
  11. ^ Main, Dalton (January 8, 2014). "Louisville could soon host pro soccer team". Louisville, KY: WDRB. Retrieved February 15, 2015. 
  12. ^ "About The Coopers". Retrieved February 13, 2015. 
  13. ^ Main, Dalton (January 14, 2014). "Louisville soccer fans rally around possible pro team". Louisville, KY: WDRB. Retrieved February 15, 2015. 
  14. ^ "Louisville City FC – Season Tickets". Louisville City Football Club. Retrieved February 13, 2015. 
  15. ^ Vit, Armin (June 24, 2014). "A Sinking Barrel". UnderConsideration. Retrieved July 9, 2017. 
  16. ^ Lintner, Jonathan (June 22, 2014). "Louisville City FC unveils 'abstract' new logo". Louisville, KY: Courier-Journal. Retrieved July 9, 2017. 
  17. ^ "Roster Louisville City Football Club". Louisville City Football Club. Retrieved January 11, 2017. 
  18. ^ "Louisville City FC is prepared to proceed with players George Davis IV, Paolo DelPiccolo, and Luke Spencer carrying in place as joint interim head coaches". Louisville City FC. 
  19. ^ "Byrd & Sutu join coaching staff". Louisville City FC. Archived from the original on February 15, 2015. Retrieved January 13, 2015. 
  20. ^ Finley, Marty (June 29, 2018). "Louisville City FC head coach leaving for MLS job". www.bizjournals.com. Louisville, KY: Louisville Business First. Retrieved July 1, 2018. Louisville City FC players George Davis IV, Paolo DelPiccolo and Luke Spencer have been named joint interim head coaches, and the club said O'Connor will coach Louisville City FC in its match against the New York Red Bulls II on Saturday night at Louisville Slugger Field. 
  21. ^ a b c "By Season | MLSsoccer.com". Major League Soccer. Archived from the original on October 9, 2016. Retrieved October 3, 2016. 
  22. ^ a b "2015 USL Awards Winners". www.uslsoccer.com. USL. October 30, 2015. Retrieved November 14, 2017. 
  23. ^ a b "Updated leaders and statistics for the 2015 USL season". www.mlssoccer.com. MLS. September 14, 2015. Retrieved November 14, 2017. 
  24. ^ Murray, Nicholas (November 14, 2017). "Louisville's Late Winner Claims USL Cup Victory". www.uslsoccer.com. USL. Retrieved November 14, 2017. 
  25. ^ a b "USL All-League Teams Announced". www.uslsoccer.com. USL. October 26, 2015. Retrieved November 14, 2017. 
  26. ^ "2017 USL All-League Teams Unveiled". www.uslsoccer.com. USL. November 9, 2017. Retrieved November 14, 2017. 

External links[edit]