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LouCity announces 2017 preseason schedule

By Jonathan Lintner / Louisville City FC, 01/24/17, 3:15PM EST

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The club will play four games around the region before opening USL play.

Louisville City FC will tune up for the 2017 United Soccer League slate with four preseason games against a combination of college and professional opponents, the club announced Tuesday.

After a two-week trip in February to train at the world-class IMG Academy, LouCity’s preseason opens with a March 4 game against Young Harris College. The boys in purple will then compete with Lipscomb University (March 8), the University of Kentucky (March 15) and the Indy Eleven (March 18) before opening USL play the weekend of March 24-26.

LouCity’s regular-season schedule will soon be released by the USL.

“The biggest thing about preseason is base fitness — getting our foundation in place,” said Coach James O’Connor. “After that, you want to get through games injury-free. It’s such a critical part of the year. People tend to underestimate the value of preseason.

“You obviously want to try to win the games, but in preseason it’s important to see the patterns you also want to see throughout the season. You’re trying to iron out individual needs as well as team needs and see where you are.”

• LouCity will kick off against NCAA Division II Young Harris at 11 a.m. March 4 on the club’s training ground at Thurman-Hutchins Park. Three current LouCity players — forward Ilija Ilic, midfielder Niall McCabe and defender Paco Craig — played collegiately for Young Harris, a fast-rising program based in north Georgia. The game is closed to the general public but open to the first 100 season ticket holders who RSVP. Email Director of Ticket Sales Dave Walkovic (dwalkovic@louisvillecityfc.com) to reserve your spot.

• LouCity will meet NCAA Division I Lipscomb at 7 p.m. March 8 at the Elizabethtown Sports Complex, 1401 West Park Road in Elizabethtown, Ky. The game is open to the public and admission will be free. From Nashville, Tenn., Lipscomb competes in the Atlantic Sun Conference, last year posting a 10-6-2 record on its way to making the league semifinals.

• For the third straight preseason, UK will host LouCity in a preseason game. Played at 7 p.m. March 15 inside the Wendell & Vickie Bell Soccer Complex, the game is also free to attend and open to the public. The Wildcats, from Conference USA, fell by a 3-0 score to LouCity in 2016.

• LouCity will close its preseason slate by matching up with the North American Soccer League’s Indy Eleven at 6 p.m. ET (5 p.m. local time) March 18 at the University of Evansville’s Arad McCutchan Stadium in Evansville, Ind. Admission will cost $5 at the gate. LouCity topped Indy 1-0 during last year’s preseason before the Eleven went on to play in the NASL’s championship game.