1. Visitors From Downriver:
Louisville is an interesting city. With around 1.2 million in its metro area, it’s the largest city in Kentucky and known for horse racing, its Hard Rock Cafe, and college basketball parties. It’s also home to our inevitable rivals: Louisville City FC. LCFC has existed for one season longer than FC Cincinnati, they got in apparently before a metaphorical line was drawn between “authentic” and “plastic.” For tips on being an "authentic" fan, check out Sixth Day Soccer's excellent guide.
The city of Louisville has been longing for a major league sports franchise for some time. The Kentucky Colonels of the old ABA never made it to the main league, the NBA’s Vancouver Grizzlies chose Tennessee over the land of Colonel Sanders, and the NHL’s Blue Jackets settled in Ohio instead of the “Ville.” The place has also seen its fair share of indoor football teams and various minor level ice hockey teams over the years while the mainstay Bats play in the International League of AAA minor league baseball. They’re an affiliate of our major league Cincinnati Reds and play their home games at Slugger Field, where they’re also landlords to their tenant: Louisville City FC.
Like FCC, the Lou City organization has higher ambitions. Despite what some want to believe on Twitter, Lou City would also like to make it to Major League Soccer someday. The organization’s motto of “pro soccer, pro city,” reflects these ideals. Some hope, perhaps one day, that LCFC could be the major league team that Louisville has always desired. The one that ups their image into the next tier of American city.
Let's be honest for a second and show respect when it’s due. Louisville itself is a great place and the Louisville City FC organization (as well as their supporters groups) have had great results at the ticket window, in the stands, and on the baseball field. Before FCC was announced, I’d been following LC’s first season. I enjoyed watching it, seeing how things developed, and how people rallied around that team (and continue to do so). Their fans aren’t particularly fond of FC Cincinnati and maybe that’s due to the perceived threat to their own MLS ambitions, regional proximity, or delusions of grandeur. Either way, the two teams will meet for the first time this Saturday at Nippert Stadium.
Louisville's fans and supporters groups (such as The Coopers) are passionate, both about their team and social media. They love to tweet about FC Cincinnati almost as much as their own team, and anyone who dares relocate their plaque eight feet suffers their wrath on the Internet.
Speaking of that season ticket holders plaque, we may get one for Nippert. We’ll have to make it much larger though, instead of 1800 initial season ticket holder names, we’ll need room for over 5,000.
You might remember back in March, The Coopers offered up their idea of what FCC would look like. We responded in kind; here’s a quick recap of that:
- Louisville's best player and fan favorite, Matt Fondy, left for Jacksonville and the NASL.
- Their coach has lots of pro soccer experience and is apparently easily sunburnt or a beekeeper (see above).
- They think FC Cincinnati has gone a little overboard on corporate sponsors, (meanwhile, their organization has the “yellow cards” and “red cards” sponsored),
- They believe that “established 2015” translates to “soccer was invented here.”
- Their pitch has real grass, but it's also a minor league baseball stadium.
Another criticism they liked to offer up against FCC was the price of a jersey from the team shop. Initially, a Cincinnati kit sold for $100 (the club lowered it down to $85 in response to fans). Louisville has been able to beat us at one thing for sure: their kits cost $101.
The "Lucies" are coming into Nippert with the same record as the blue and orange: 2-1-0, six points apiece. Last weekend they overcame a deficit. Down by 1, they answered with four goals of their own to take down Orlando City B 4-1 in front of a crowd of 5,298 Meanwhile, FCC took down Charlotte 2-1 in front of a crowd of 14,658. If either team records a decisive victory on Saturday night, they'll jump ahead in standings and bragging rights. This match is the first of three meetings between us this season.
Coming off the success and incredible environment in Nippert last week, we’re hoping to exceed even more expectations. The Bailey will be rocking once again and I’m sure plenty of Lucy fans will make the trip upriver to the big city. I really hope the Teletubbie guys are coming:
2. Travel Plans:
We'll also be heading down to Louisville on Saturday, June 25; here’s how to get your tickets so you can sit with fellow FCC supporters.
Visit this link and use the group code FCC2016. Our seating area will be general admission so you don't need to worry about buying tickets at the same time as friends. The ticket comes out to $14.22 after fees and taxes. Check back soon for information on carpools.
All banter aside, I'm looking forward to seeing Slugger Field, the drum line, and the LCFC home environment (as well as FCC winning on the road).
3. Change of Venue:
We’re also going to have a slight change of venue from here on out. Instead of Rhinegeist, we’ll now be meeting at Mecklenburg Gardens which has been kind enough to partner with us. Check out the details in the Facebook event here. Following the tailgate event we’ll be marching once again to Nippert, into The Bailey, and to cheer the good guys on to victory over our new regional rival friends.
If any Louisville City folks are making the trip up, please feel free to join us at Mecklenburg Gardens, we’d love to have you and we look forward to a fun season/visiting you in June.
This is going to be a big game folks, I'll see you at Mecklenburg Gardens and in The Bailey on Saturday.