Racing Louisville Football Club is a National Women's Soccer League team based in Louisville, Kentucky. It began playing in 2021 at Lynn Family Stadium. The team is owned by Soccer Holdings LLC, which also owns Louisville City FC of the USL Championship. The expansion team was announced on October 22, 2019.
|Full name||Racing Louisville Football Club|
|Founded||October 22, 2019|
|Stadium||Lynn Family Stadium|
|Owner||Soccer Holdings, LLC|
|Head coach||Beverly Goebel Yanez|
|League||National Women's Soccer League|
|2023||9th of 12|
Louisville was mentioned as a potential candidate for an expansion team in National Women's Soccer League as early as 2018, shortly after construction began on their soccer-specific venue, Lynn Family Stadium. The ownership group of USL Championship club Louisville City FC began preliminary discussions with the league the following year, with plans to enter in the 2020 season. Louisville's NWSL expansion team was officially announced on October 22, 2019, sharing its ownership group with Louisville City FC. It would begin play in 2021 at Lynn Family Stadium.
In November 2019, NWSL filed a trademark application for "Proof Louisville FC", which was confirmed by Louisville City FC as their preliminary name for the team. The name references the local bourbon whiskey industry by using the term "proof", a measure of alcohol content. The ownership group later announced in April 2020 that they would explore other names with community input after a mixed reception from fans. The club's new name, Racing Louisville FC, was officially unveiled on July 8, 2020. PNC Bank was announced as the club's first kit sponsor on July 1, 2020, with the company's logo appearing on the back of the team's jerseys. On December 17, 2020, Louisville City announced that GE Appliances, which had already been that club's primary shirt sponsor (i.e., on the front of the kit), would expand this sponsorship to include all clubs under the Louisville City umbrella, including Racing.
Former Sky Blue FC head coach Christy Holly was named as Racing Louisville FC's first head coach on August 12, 2020. The club made their NWSL debut in the 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup, where they finished at the bottom of the East Division with two losses and two draws. Racing Louisville FC made their home debut on May 15, 2021, playing to a scoreless draw against Kansas City NWSL.
Holly was fired for cause on August 31, 2021, and the club named Mario Sanchez, head of the club's youth academy and former collegiate coach, as the interim head coach. After the season, veteran Swedish coach Kim Björkegren was named as the permanent replacement. In 2022, a report from U.S. Soccer revealed that Holly had allegedly sexually abused players as coach of Racing.
Club identity edit
Racing Louisville FC is named in reference to the city's horse racing venues, including the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, using the "Racing" moniker used by foreign clubs. The club's circular crest uses a lavender background and a four-pointed fleur-de-lis at its center in violet. It was designed by Matthew Wolff, who had previously worked with Major League Soccer teams New York City FC and Los Angeles FC.
Stadium and facilities edit
The club shares Lynn Family Stadium and its training facilities with Louisville City FC. The soccer-specific stadium, opened in 2020, has a seated capacity of 11,600, with standing-room capacity up to 15,304. The 20-acre (8.1 ha) training facilities at Louisville Champions Park includes several practice fields and an indoor gymnasium and office complex.
Players and staff edit
Current squad edit
- As of November 18, 2023.
Out on loan edit
- As of November 15, 2022.
- As of November 30, 2023
|Head coach||Beverly Goebel Yanez|
|Goalkeepers coach||Sergio Gonzalez|
|Head athletic trainer||Tara Condon|
|Assistant athletic trainer||Isabelle Clarke|
|Head equipment manager||Sarah Kanuch|
Head coaches edit
|Season||League||Regular season||Playoffs||Challenge Cup||Avg. attendance|
|2021||NWSL||24||5||7||12||21||40||22||9th||Did not qualify||Group stage||6,565|
|2022||22||5||8||9||23||35||23||9th||Did not qualify||Group stage||6,048|
|2023||22||6||9||7||25||24||27||9th||Did not qualify||Runners-up|
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- "National Women's Soccer League announces expansion to Louisville in 2021" (Press release). National Women's Soccer League. October 22, 2019. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
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- Linehan, Megan; Rueter, Jeff (August 13, 2019). "Sources: Louisville is the leading candidate for 2020 NWSL expansion". The Athletic. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
- Sullivan, Tim (October 23, 2019). "Louisville is getting a National Women's Soccer League franchise. Here's what to know". The Courier-Journal. p. A1. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
- Sullivan, Tim (November 12, 2019). "Louisville's NWSL expansion team has a name, and it's a nod to Kentucky's favorite spirit". The Courier-Journal. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
- Gardner, Hayes (April 21, 2020). "Proof Louisville FC — the city's NWSL team — may get a new name". The Courier-Journal. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
- Aulbach, Lucas (July 8, 2020). "Meet Racing Louisville FC: New NWSL team announces name and colors ahead of 2021 debut". The Courier-Journal. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
- Finley, Marty (July 1, 2020). "Louisville women's soccer franchise lands first major corporate sponsor". Louisville Business First. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
- "GE Appliances Extends LouCity Agreement, Expands Support for Soccer" (Press release). Louisville City FC. December 17, 2020. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
- Aulbach, Lucas; Yates, Dominique (August 12, 2020). "Christy Holly will lead Racing Louisville FC, the city's new NWSL franchise, in 2021". The Courier-Journal. Retrieved August 12, 2020.
- "Racing Louisville FC ends Challenge Cup with 0-0 tie at Gotham FC". WDRB. May 2, 2021. Retrieved August 10, 2021.
- Saxon, Jonathan (May 15, 2021). "Racing Louisville, Kansas City fight to 0-0 draw in season opener". The Courier-Journal. Retrieved August 10, 2021.
- Garnder, Hayes (August 31, 2021). "Racing Louisville FC fires first head coach Christy Holly 'for cause'". The Courier-Journal. Retrieved August 31, 2021.
- "Racing Louisville FC Hires Björkegren as Head Coach" (Press release). Racing Louisville FC. December 9, 2021. Retrieved December 15, 2021.
- Yang, Steph; Linehan, Meg (October 3, 2022). "NWSL investigations: Everything you need to know from Sally Yates' report and what's next". The Athletic. Retrieved June 1, 2023.
- Finley, Marty (July 8, 2020). "Louisville's new women's pro soccer team unveils name, logo". Louisville Business First. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
- "NWSL coming to Louisville in 2021" (Press release). Louisville City FC. October 22, 2019. Archived from the original on July 10, 2020. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
- "Soccer Holdings releases plans for new training facility" (Press release). Racing Louisville FC. June 10, 2020. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
- "Roster". Racing Louisville FC. Retrieved April 25, 2023.
- "Racing announces initial offseason roster moves".
- "Technical Staff". www.racingloufc.com.