Louisville City FC added depth to its midfield Wednesday by announcing the signing of Oscar Jimenez, a versatile player with United Soccer League experience.
Terms of Jimenez’s contract, which is pending league and federation approval, were not disclosed. He’s the third player to sign with LouCity out of the club’s invitation tryout in January, joining Louisville native Richard Ballard, also a midfielder, and forward Luke Spencer.
“Oscar impressed us with his quality, receiving skills and awareness,” said Coach James O’Connor. “He also possesses the personality and values we look for in players.”
Jimenez has played at all midfield positions during his career, most recently for Premier Development League (PDL) side Mississippi Brilla FC. There, he was the team’s co-leading scorer in 2016 with 4 goals and registered 2 assists in 14 appearances.
Jimenez spent the 2015 season with the USL Western Conference club Tulsa Roughnecks after featuring for the NCAA Division II Western Washington Vikings near his hometown of Mount Vernon, Wash. By excelling at the tryout, he’s back to playing fully professional for LouCity.
“I felt like I was very composed, positive and encouraging to everyone that was there,” Jimenez said. “I pretty much like putting the team first instead of trying to do too much myself to impress the coaches. I think a team-first mentality stood out to James. Now I’m just excited to get out there and to figure out where James sees me fitting in the best and how I can contribute to the team.”
For his previous teams, which include the Seattle Sounders’ U-23s, Jimenez has played as an attacking midfielder, in a holding spot and more defensive roles. He also took set pieces for Mississippi Brilla.
Jimenez has coaching experience as well. He worked as a volunteer assistant at his alma mater before serving in a more full-time role last fall. That, he said, gave him new perspective on the game.
“I’ve only been here for a few days, and I’m already enjoying it,” said Jimenez, who left Sunday with the rest of LouCity’s team for two weeks of preseason training at Florida’s IMG Academy. “I haven’t really played soccer with them yet, but they’re good guys outside of soccer. It’s really cool to be on a team where everyone cares for each other and it’s not like there’s cliques or groups of people. It’s a whole team together.”
Jimenez’s signing brings O’Connor’s LouCity roster to 20 players ahead of a March 25 USL opener against Saint Louis FC. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. at Louisville Slugger Field. Season ticket packages remain on sale starting at $180 by calling (502) 384-8799, visiting LouCity.com/tickets or emailing email@example.com.