Louisville City FC has bolstered its back line with the signing of defender Amadou Dia following two seasons with Sporting Kansas City, the club announced Friday.
Dia’s deal, which is pending league and federation approval, brings to town a 28-year-old outside back who has spent much of his career on Major League Soccer rosters but is also familiar with Louisville, going up against the boys in purple in the 2018 USL Championship Final when with Phoenix Rising FC.
“Being able to bring in an experienced quality player in Amadou was important as we look to build the roster,” said head coach Danny Cruz. “Day in and day out, he understands what it takes to win. His ability to defend one on one as well as provide quality in the final third were two things that stood out to us when scouting him. We are excited to have him here in Louisville and know he will play an important role in building toward another trophy.”
A native of Nantes, France, Dia originally moved to the United States for his collegiate career at Clemson University, where he won an Atlantic Coast Conference title and qualified for two NCAA tournaments. Sporting KC selected Dia 20th overall in the 2015 SuperDraft, and he also went on to play for MLS’ Montreal Impact before three years in Phoenix.
Dia was part of three Rising FC playoff teams, including the 2018 squad that won a Western Conference title. The left-footer went all 90 minutes against LouCity in that year’s final — a 1-0 game decided on Luke Spencer’s 62nd-minute game winner at the University of Louisville’s Lynn Stadium.
“The emphasis is on winning a championship,” Dia said of joining LouCity. “I remember coming over with Phoenix and losing in the final. That’s in the past. What I’ve heard and seen watching, Louisville is a really professional organization, and I’m excited to try to win some trophies.”
Dia went on to be named Phoenix’s Defender of the Year in both 2018 and 2019. The latter season, Rising FC set an all-time American professional soccer record with 20 straight league wins from May 10 to Sept. 14. Dia started in 18 of those victories.
More recently, Dia tallied 13 appearances in 2021 across Sporting KC and SKC II, the club’s former USL Championship affiliate. He passed at an 81.4% clip in SKC II games, making nine starts.
“I didn’t get to play much last season, so I’m trying to get back into a regular role in the middle of things,” Dia said. “As soon as I get the ball, it’s all about going forward, attacking and seeing what I can produce. Defensively, it’s about locking it down on my side, making sure I don’t get beat one-on-one and stay connected with the rest of the back line.
“I look to be absolutely ruthless defensively and produce for our offense.”
Dia’s signing brings LouCity’s 2022 roster to 19 players — 16 of those returners from a squad that advanced to the Eastern Conference Final. Other newcomers include goalkeeper Kyle Morton (from Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo) and defender Owen Damm (from Louisville’s academy program).
The boys in purple will soon open preseason ahead of a 34-game USL Championship campaign that kicks off March 12 at Lynn Family Stadium.
Current 2022 Louisville City FC Roster
Forwards: Jorge Gonzalez, Cameron Lancaster, Brian Ownby
Midfielders: Corben Bone, Tyler Gibson, Jay Tee Kamara, Napo Matsoso, Niall McCabe, Carlos Moguel Jr., Paolo DelPiccolo, Elijah Wynder
Defenders: Wes Charpie, Owen Damm, Amadou Dia, Oscar Jimenez, Sean Totsch, Josh Wynder
Goalkeepers: Kyle Morton, Parker Siegfried