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LouCity signs versatile Irishman Russell for 2017 season

By Jonathan Lintner / Louisville City FC, 01/03/17, 11:00AM EST

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He most recently played for championship-winning Limerick F.C. in his home country.

Louisville City FC added more championship-winning talent to its 2017 roster on Tuesday with the signing of Sean Russell, a left-footed player capable of manning the defense or midfield.

Russell comes to LouCity after winning a League of Ireland First Division championship at Limerick F.C., a team coached by his father, Martin Russell, who spent time with Manchester United and other notable European clubs during his own playing career.

Terms of Russell's contract, which is pending league and USSF approval, were not disclosed.

"We're excited about Sean," said LouCity coach James O'Connor. "He's got a nice left foot -- good quality -- and can shoot. We think he fits the criteria and profile of what we're looking for with a great attitude and great character."

The fellow Irishman O'Connor said he could see Russell, a 23-year-old native of Dublin, playing at any of left back, left wing and the attacking midfield.

With Russell, Limerick F.C. went unbeaten through a stretch of 25 straight games in 2016, a run that earned the club promotion back to Ireland's top-level Premier Division. As his team went an impressive 24-3-1, Russell logged more than 1,200 minutes played and scored 2 goals. LouCity's newest signee also hit the back of the net 3 times in 2015.

"I find I contribute most through my attacking play," Russell said. "Passing, crossing, shooting and set piece-taking are areas where I think I can help the team. Over the past few years, having played in a number of positions, I've also developed my defensive and all-around game. 

"The main accomplishment in Louisville would of course be to win trophies. Louisville City is a good club and will be looking to push on from last year. Hopefully we can do that. I managed to experience my first league title back in Ireland, and it's a feeling I will definitely be looking to repeat."

O'Connor met with Russell while on a recent scouting trip to England and Ireland.

"He's a kid who wants to get better," LouCity's coach said. "Having had the conversation with him, personal growth is important to him, as it is me and everyone else who's associated with this club."

Russell joins Devon "Speedy" Williams, a central midfielder who last played for the New York Red Bulls II, as newcomers to LouCity's 2017 roster. Williams also won titles this year -- both the United Soccer League's regular-season and playoff crowns.

O'Connor has under contract 13 returners as well from a club that advanced to the USL Eastern Conference Final for a second straight season.

More new signings will be announced soon.