Since starting play in 2015, Louisville City FC, Kentucky’s only fully professional soccer club, has quickly established a reputation both for winning on the pitch and solid fan support off it.
LouCity, as we’re often referred to, is a member of the USL Championship, now sanctioned Division 2 by U.S. Soccer and the top division of the United Soccer League. The USL Championship includes teams across the country, some of them independent and others acting as close affiliates with MLS clubs.
Louisville City FC advanced to the USL’s Eastern Conference Final every season since starting play in 2015. In its second year, the club was the last remaining independent side – one that doesn’t have an MLS affiliation – in the playoffs. LouCity reached the pinnacle of the league in 2017, winning both the Eastern Conference regular-season title and the USL Cup Final for the first time. Since entering the USL, LouCity’s 170 points earned in league play are the most of any team in the past three seasons.
LouCity plays home games at Louisville Slugger Field but is currently building a soccer-specific stadium in Louisville, ensuring the club’s long-term viability. An average of 7,218 fans attended LouCity’s 2016 USL games, ranking third in the league, which increased in 2017 to an average of 8,792. To culminate the 2017 season, Louisville City FC marched their way through the playoffs as the #1 seed. On November 13, the "Boys in Purple" defeated Swope Park Rangers, 1-0, to win their first-ever USL Cup.
Louisville City FC originally launched with the help of local architect Wayne Estopinal, a part-owner in Orlando City SC, a former USL member that moved up to MLS in 2015. The USL franchise shifted to Louisville, and James O’Connor, a native of Ireland and former Orlando City player, was hired as coach. John Neace currently serves as LouCity’s chairman, heading a local ownership group.
In 2018, Louisville City FC became the first USL team in history by winning back-to-back championships. LouCity is currently under the direction of head coach John Hackworth since August 2, 2018. Under "Hack" and assistant Danny Cruz, Louisville City FC capped off an incredible end-of-season run with 10 straight wins, including a 1-0 win over Phoenix Rising FC in front of a beyond-sold out crowd of over 7,000 at Lynn Stadium on Thursday, November 8.
The 2019 USL Championship regular season will run from March to October with Louisville competing in the 18-team Eastern Conference.