LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville City central defender Sean Reynolds described his experience playing for a first-division club in Europe with just one word: “Wow.” Since returning stateside, the 6-foot-1 center back has rekindled his American loves — college basketball and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles — while serving as a standout in 16 appearances with LouCity in 2015.
Reynolds is probably best remembered for his game-saving tackle in the playoff match versus the Charleston Battery in Louisville City’s 2-0 extra time win on Oct. 3. He also stood tall in LouCity’s U.S. Open Cup loss to the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill. The 26-year-old made several big plays to keep the Fire off the scoreboard and force extra time.
The Florida native and University of West Florida alumnus spent a season in Iceland with first-division club FH-Igor. Reynolds said his time in Iceland was humbling, simply because the level of play was so elite.
“I went in there and the level was very high,” Reynolds said. “It’s not that I was expecting it not to be high, but it was like, ‘Wow, these guys are really good.’”
Because of the level, Reynolds said he knew he had to work even harder to earn his place within the squad.
“Some of these guys are 28-, 29-, 30-, 31-years-old and they’ve played in Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, and some have played for the Icelandic national team,” Reynolds said. “I was just like, ‘Wow, I really have to step my game up.’”
Reynolds played in the UEFA Europa League with Igor, something he simply couldn’t believe. He admitted that he would look up some of his opponents online.
“I’m just looking these guys up on Wikipedia … and I’m like, ‘Wow,’” Reynolds said. “He played here, he played there … It’s a whole different ball game over there.”
Since returning from Iceland, Reynolds has stayed in touch better with one of his greatest loves, college basketball. The LouCity defender is a huge University of Kansas fan, holding high hopes that the Jayhawks can perform better in the NCAA Tournament than in years past.
“Kansas, they’re always going to be one of the big teams in the NCAA Tournament,” Reynolds said. “They tend to win the first and second round, and then the third round comes and their field goal percentage is low and players get silly fouls.”
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In addition to college basketball, Reynolds has another, more youthful passion: The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
“I love the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” Reynolds said. “Personally, my favorite one is Rafael because we have the same temper. I tend to get kind of angry sometimes.
“I do love pizza. I think Master Splinter is a great mentor to all young children around the world.
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Reynolds is so serious about his love for the Turtles, he’s even stocked up on TMNT memorabilia.
“I have boxers, shirts, socks … You name it I have it,” Reynolds said. “I even have a Mutant Ninja Turtles cup.”
Despite his outside interests, Reynolds has come into the 2016 season ready to compete. He was a a part of Louisville City FC’s historic inaugural team, which went on to finish in the Eastern Conference Finals. Reynolds said he’s excited to see what the 13 players who returned to LouCity can bring in 2016, in addition to the team’s new signings.
“We have a good team this year,” Reynolds said. “We have a lot of new players, and a lot of the same players from last year. Guys are mixing well. It’s been an easy transition on the field.”
Entering the 2016 season, LouCity holds high expectations — including the opportunity to say, “Wow,” when thinking of Reynolds’ second season in purple.
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Louisville City FC has returned 13 players from the 2015 roster — including reigning USL Goal of the Season winner Aodhan Quinn and former English Premier League striker Cameron Lancaster. New additions include MLS Cup-winning forward Chandler Hoffman, University of Louisville alumnus Paolo DelPiccolo and University of Kentucky alumnus George Davis IV.
Louisville City FC begins regular season play on March 26 at Charlotte Independence. LouCity then returns to Louisville Slugger Field on April 2 to host New York Red Bulls II in the home opener, with a special 3 p.m. kickoff.
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Fans can stay up to date with all of Louisville City’s breaking news, roster updates and ticketing information by following the Club on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Season tickets are available for Louisville City’s historic second season via the Club’s official website.