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Louisville City Becomes Kentucky's First ECNL Boys Club

March 25, 2020 - United Soccer League Championship (USL) - Louisville City FC News Release

The Louisville City Football Club Academy has been accepted as a new member of the Elite Clubs National League, a collection of many of the premier boys' soccer clubs in America.

"This is a historic day for youth soccer in Kentucky and our region," Soccer Holdings Youth Academy Director Mario Sanchez said. "We are very proud that the ECNL has chosen us to be the first club in all of Kentucky to fly the ECNL flag."

The ECNL Boys was founded to improve the daily environment for boys' youth soccer players through a collaborative club-based development program featuring competition, player identification, and coaching and club development platforms. LouCity Academy will compete in regular-season conference games, cross-conference events, and ECNL national events while trying to qualify for the ECNL Playoffs.

"ECNL has proven itself to be a leader in youth development competition," Sanchez said. "The standards that each club must have to be a part of the ECNL organization will enable it to continue to be a leader in youth development. We are looking forward to our future players being tested both regionally and nationally against some of the best youth players on a regular basis."

LouCity Academy is the first club in Kentucky invited to join the ECNL Boys.

"Everyone in and around the game has taken notice of the incredible growth and success at Louisville City Football Club over just a few years," said ECNL Boys Commissioner, Jason Kutney. "With the support of excellent club leadership and major investments in facilities, staffing, and other associated resources, the LouCity Academy will become a preeminent youth developmental model in Kentucky, and we are excited to welcome them into the ECNL Boys."

The ECNL Boys boasts some of the top clubs in America including St. Louis Scott Gallagher (MO), Vardar (MI), Pittsburgh Riverhounds (PA), Ohio Premier (OH), Minnesota Thunder (MN). LouCity will be in the Midwest Division alongside teams from Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York.

The LouCity Academy will start at U-8 (local youth born in 2013) through U-19 (local players born in 2002) and will train and play at a new training center at Champions Park on River Road which will begin construction later this spring. The complex will include four turf fields and three natural grass fields. The LouCity Academy will be led by Simon Bird.

"The ECNL Boys is an incredible opportunity for our top local players," Bird said. "The ECNL provides showcase events and post-season playoffs which attract college coaches from across the country. The extra opportunities and exposure provided by the ECNL National Training Camp and the ECNL Conference Selection Program set our new league apart from any other in American soccer."

Tryouts for LouCity Academy will be announced in early April. Once selected for a youth academy team, the season will run from late July until mid-May for pre-high schoolers and late Fall through late May for high school players so that players will still be available to play for their local schools. Travel for the teams will be based on age-appropriate demands and league and tournament play.

"One of the great benefits of the ECNL Boys is the ability for our players to continue to play high school soccer," Sanchez said. "In other development leagues, the players aren't able to participate with their local high schools. We felt it was crucial that our local players be able to compete alongside their classmates each Fall."

For more information on LouCity Academy, please visit

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