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A Call to Arms

Welcome Ty Smith to the louisvillecoopers.com staff! Ty is a long-time soccer fan, supporter, and lawyer, which means his opinion and authority cannot be questioned in any way whatsoever! Also, he owns a sliver of the club. Take it away, Ernest Hemingway Ty!

This is a CALL TO ARMS for all Louisville City supporters and our community as a whole.

I’m so excited for Season 3 I can hardly stand it. I really feel like it’s going to be our best ever, both in terms of success on the field and excitement in the community. This is really our time to shine.

That’s why it’s so important for all supporters to get some fire in their bellies! We need to be louder than ever, more annoying at work than ever, and really bust down our neighbors’ doors to get the community out in full force to support our club. This is our season to prove we deserve a stadium and a permanent foothold in the Louisville sports landscape.

There’s no question Louisville City is no longer an abstract idea. We’ve already proven the market. But now is the time to take the next step.

Here’s why I believe we have a golden opportunity in 2017 to Make Louisville City More Great (#MLCMG):

JOC

We have the best coach in the USL, hands down, for at least one more year. Everyone pray for more. Daniel Byrd deserves mention as well for sticking with us as O’Connor’s right hand man. There’s no question the product on the field will be worthy entertainment and JOC/DB will have the boys playing competitively. The players are quality young men, on and off the field, which reflects a locker room culture that is professional and admirable for Louisville’s youth players. With the prospect of another team trying to snatch up JOC, this season is critical. If we show up, get the darn stadium, and have another successful season – we’ll be able to make a convincing case for him to stay.

Team

We have a core group of 13 players who have spent at least a year with us, and 7 that have been on the roster since before City ever kicked a ball. We really have a family of players at this point. The guys are becoming more involved in the community, there is more outreach pre-season this year than ever before, and the team’s chemistry will only benefit.

I love this group of players and could really highlight each one; but I’ll just say I’m especially excited to see Ilia Ilic and Cameron Lancaster get a shot at a breakout year. Both have toiled behind big names (Fondy and Hoffman) but now it’s their time. I’m expecting they’ll take advantage.  With the additions to the roster, including 3 USL champions, an Irish league champion, and another local player, the bottom line is there’s little reason to think this season’s results won’t rival our first two years.

That being said, there’s a bit of an underdog feeling here as well, primarily due to losing two guys our rivals upriver. Let’s hope there’s a chip on our shoulder and the rivalry keeps getting better.

With the prospect of very strong USL side, let’s do our part and take advantage of the success on the field! Show up, tailgate, and get excited for the coming season!

Supporter Groups

Knock on wood but from a bird’s eye view, the supporter groups are moving past the hurt feelings that began Season 2. This season is too important to waste holding grudges against the front office or someone who thinks their particular style of supporting the team is better than others. Show out for the team first and foremost! If we do that then everything else takes care of itself. I am elated to see Tom Farmer on the Final Judgment Podcast and Jordan on Barrelproof. This is the type of collaboration, support, and camaraderie that will enable Louisville to really reach its potential as a soccer community.

LouCity Tailgate

Let’s help these guys take the pre-game to another level this year. The old-fashioned, red-blooded American tailgate is the just about the most awesome thing ever invented. I’m expecting the LouCity Tailgate to be absolutely epic this year. We should all be tailgating and bringing new fans. The newbies will love the tailgate if not the soccer action. Honestly I think the sponsored pitch party is less preferable to the Front Office just getting restrooms and otherwise supporting the private tailgating that dominates anyway. Anything we can do to enhance the pre-game experience will pay dividends. For one, I would suggest the March to the Match should begin at the LouCity Tailgate after sufficient rabble rousing in the Preston Lot.

Front Office

Don’t forget about the Front Office. #CityDads is a staunch supporter now and forever. We have leadership right now that really has one singular priority, as it should, which is the most important to the success of our team and Making Louisville City More Great – the Stadium. There’s really never been a more important time in this soccer team’ short life than RIGHT NOW. We all know the stadium is a necessity. Make no mistake, we’re fighting for long-term stability for our soccer team. A top notch pro soccer team can make a difference in Louisville, not only through its intrinsic entertainment value, but also charity, community-building, and attracting talented people and businesses. A vibrant pro sports community, just like the arts, will make Louisville a better place to live. So we really need to step it up. The stronger the fan base, the more likely we get the stadium.

And please, please, please give the Front Office a big shout out for forgoing an MLS application and changing the narrative to what it should be – let’s get a stadium and make this team the envy of every Division II franchise in the country (which, honestly, it is!). If we keep building our local team and reach our potential, MLS could come calling when it goes up over 30 teams, if not sooner. The Front Office also deserves credit where credit is due – 3rd best in attendance last year.

So, this is my Call To Arms. Season 3 has got to be all-out, no-holds-barred soccer in the city. My personal goal is to bring someone new to each and every game. Let’s make it happen! And Go City! #MLCMG