A fresh-faced Louisville City FC will be ready to return to action under the guidance of head coach John Hackworth and assistant Danny Cruz with the Club’s 2019 preseason schedule now locked in.
With 20 rostered players on board at the time of the announcement, LouCity will jet down to renowned training facility IMG Academy, where the team will begin its preseason camp for the fourth straight year.
Two days in, Hackworth's assembly will travel to Orlando City Stadium to face Orlando City SC, led by former City coach James O'Connor, in the team's first game since November's cup triumph. This will be the first of two tests against Major League Soccer opposition in their preseason slate and will be closed to the public.
Back in Bradenton, City is looking at fixtures against Nashville SC (USL), the New England Revolution (MLS), and the University of South Florida, with three games in a seven-day span. Fans will be remember U.S. Open Cup clashes against the first two clubs fondly with City defeating the pair as part of their Quarterfinal run.
After leaving IMG Academy, Los Morados are looking at a few days' rest before facing inaugural USL side Memphis 901 FC at a neutral site in the first-ever meeting between the two clubs.
Finally, the defending back-to-back USL champions return to Kentucky to round out their preseason with a two-game stretch against some of the region's best collegiate talent.
First up, City heads to Lexington to face the University of Kentucky, whose strong 2018 campaign saw them crowned C-USA champions before reaching the Elite Eight stage of the NCAA Tournament.
Then to finish the seven-game slate, City stays home as they go up against the newly-led University of Louisville at Lynn Stadium in Louisville. One of the collegiate game's best venues, the team enjoyed a run in the U.S. Open Cup at Lynn before capturing their second USL Cup there on November 8.
On preseason, Hackworth emphasized that this run of games represents more to his team than just getting minutes in their legs:
“We’re proud of our preseason schedule so far and what we’ve been able to put together. Obviously, the quality of the competition is high and while it gives our guys a chance to get back on the field, it also provides them an opportunity to showcase themselves as we look to field our best team against North Carolina when the season starts on March 9.”
“It’s a really exciting period for both the staff and the players and we look forward to seeing what we are capable of in a few short weeks.”
With more planning in the works, City’s preseason slate may be extended pending any more additions to the schedule as a whole.
Times, locations, and closed-door/open status will be subject to change, with updated information to be found on the Club's website and social media channels.
Fans can follow all the action on Twitter @loucityfc, with the possibility of remote streaming being explored for select matches. After the whistle, head over to LouisvilleCityFC.com for post-match recaps and complete coverage.