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.[1] The expansion team was announced on October 22, 2019.[2]

Racing Louisville FC
Full nameRacing Louisville Football Club
FoundedOctober 22, 2019; 4 years ago (2019-10-22)
StadiumLynn Family Stadium
Louisville, Kentucky
OwnerSoccer Holdings, LLC
ChairmanJohn Neace
Head coachBeverly Goebel Yanez
LeagueNational Women's Soccer League
20239th of 12
WebsiteClub website
Current season

History edit

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.[3] 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.[4][5] 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.[6]

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.[7] The ownership group later announced in April 2020 that they would explore other names with community input after a mixed reception from fans.[1][8] The club's new name, Racing Louisville FC, was officially unveiled on July 8, 2020.[9] 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.[10] 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.[11]

Former Sky Blue FC head coach Christy Holly was named as Racing Louisville FC's first head coach on August 12, 2020.[12] 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.[13] Racing Louisville FC made their home debut on May 15, 2021, playing to a scoreless draw against Kansas City NWSL.[14]

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.[15] After the season, veteran Swedish coach Kim Björkegren was named as the permanent replacement.[16] In 2022, a report from U.S. Soccer revealed that Holly had allegedly sexually abused players as coach of Racing.[17]

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.[1] 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.[18]

Stadium and facilities edit

Lynn Family Stadium, the team's home venue

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.[19] The 20-acre (8.1 ha) training facilities at Louisville Champions Park includes several practice fields and an indoor gymnasium and office complex.[20]

Players and staff edit

Current squad edit

As of November 18, 2023.[21]
No. Pos. Player Nation
1 GK Katie Lund   United States
2 MF Lauren Milliet   United States
3 DF Zaneta Wyne   United States
4 DF Elli Pikkujämsä   Finland
5 DF Paige Monaghan   United States
6 MF Jaelin Howell   United States
7 MF Savannah DeMelo   United States
8 MF Ary Borges   Brazil
9 MF Kayla Fischer   United States
10 FW Nadia Nadim   Denmark
11 FW Thembi Kgatlana   South Africa
14 FW Jessica McDonald   United States
15 DF Julia Lester   United States
16 DF Carson Pickett   United States
17 MF Maddie Pokorny   United States
18 GK Hillary Beall   United States
19 MF Jordan Baggett   United States
20 DF Abby Erceg   New Zealand
21 FW Parker Goins   United States
22 FW Kirsten Davis   United States
24 GK Jordyn Bloomer   United States
25 DF Rebecca Holloway   Northern Ireland
26 MF Taylor Aylmer   United States
27 MF Alex Chidiac   Australia
29 FW Uchenna Kanu   Nigeria
77 MF Wang Shuang   China
99 GK Olivia Sekany   United States

Out on loan edit

As of November 15, 2022.[22]
No. Pos. Player Nation

Staff edit

As of November 30, 2023[23]
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

Record edit

Year-by-year edit

Season League Regular season Playoffs Challenge Cup Avg. attendance
P W D L GF GA Pts Pos
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

References edit

  1. ^ a b c Creditor, Avi (July 8, 2020). "NWSL Expansion Team to Be Called Racing Louisville FC". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
  2. ^ "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.
  3. ^ Morris, Neal (August 23, 2018). "NWSL expansion could see teams added in USL cities". WRALSportsFan. WRAL. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
  4. ^ Lerner, Danielle (August 14, 2019). "NWSL looking at Louisville as a candidate for women's pro soccer expansion". The Courier-Journal. p. B1. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
  5. ^ Linehan, Megan; Rueter, Jeff (August 13, 2019). "Sources: Louisville is the leading candidate for 2020 NWSL expansion". The Athletic. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ Finley, Marty (July 1, 2020). "Louisville women's soccer franchise lands first major corporate sponsor". Louisville Business First. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
  11. ^ "GE Appliances Extends LouCity Agreement, Expands Support for Soccer" (Press release). Louisville City FC. December 17, 2020. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ "Racing Louisville FC ends Challenge Cup with 0-0 tie at Gotham FC". WDRB. May 2, 2021. Retrieved August 10, 2021.
  14. ^ Saxon, Jonathan (May 15, 2021). "Racing Louisville, Kansas City fight to 0-0 draw in season opener". The Courier-Journal. Retrieved August 10, 2021.
  15. ^ Garnder, Hayes (August 31, 2021). "Racing Louisville FC fires first head coach Christy Holly 'for cause'". The Courier-Journal. Retrieved August 31, 2021.
  16. ^ "Racing Louisville FC Hires Björkegren as Head Coach" (Press release). Racing Louisville FC. December 9, 2021. Retrieved December 15, 2021.
  17. ^ 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.
  18. ^ Finley, Marty (July 8, 2020). "Louisville's new women's pro soccer team unveils name, logo". Louisville Business First. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
  19. ^ "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.
  20. ^ "Soccer Holdings releases plans for new training facility" (Press release). Racing Louisville FC. June 10, 2020. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
  21. ^ "Roster". Racing Louisville FC. Retrieved April 25, 2023.
  22. ^ "Racing announces initial offseason roster moves".
  23. ^ "Technical Staff".

External links edit