THURSDAY, FEB. 6, 2020 - Louisville City Football Club is nearly a week into its preseason training at IMG Academy. On Thursday, LouCity will compete in its first preseason exhibition match of the year against D.C. United at Joe DiMaggio Park in Clearwater, Fla.
Louisville City brought back 17 players from the 2019 team that won the Eastern Conference Title and competed in LouCity's third-straight USL Championship Final. With so many players returning with significant playing experience, Louisville City coach John Hackworth said most of preseason was working to refresh his team's knowledge of the LouCity system and building on the progress the team made last season.
D.C. United will be a different club than they were in 2019. D.C. United finished fifth in the 12-team MLS Eastern Conference last season and 10th out of the 24 teams in MLS. United competed in the 2019 U.S. Open Cup, being eliminated in the fifth round. They also competed in the 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs but were eliminated in the first round. The 2019 season was captain Wayne Rooney’s last season with United. Rooney finished the campaign with 13 total goals for United.
"You take out Luco and you take out Wayne, it’s a very very different team," D.C. United coach Ben Olsen said. "We're going to be able to do some things differently with some new personnel coming in. That’s an exciting process, to get new guys in here and to tweak some things in both sides, in possession and out of possession because of the makeup."
D.C. United will have 17 players who will be returning for the 2020 season. Players who were already under contract for the 2020 season include Yamil Asad, Paul Arriola, Ola Kamara, Felipe Martins, Moses Nyeman, Donovan Pines and Griffin Yow. D.C. United resigned three players goalkeeper Earl Edwards Jr and Chris Seitz, and defender Frédéric Brillant. Also returning for the 2020 season are Steven Birnbaum, Russell Canouse, Júnior Moreno, Oniel Fisher, Joseph Mora, Júnior Moreno, and Ulises Segura. The Black-and-Red officially acquired Bill Hamid on a permanent transfer from FC Midtjylland.
“A lot of our attackers, they're interchangeable," Olsen said. "... It is really going to be part of the preseason figuring out who goes where and collectively where we are most effective."
D.C. United acquired four new players: Chris Odoi-Atsem from Loudoun United, midfielder Julian Gressel Atlanta United, midfielder Edison Flores from Monarcas Morelia, and midfielder Emmanuel Boateng acquired from L.A. Galaxy.
D.C. United selected goalkeeper Simon Lefebvre from Temple, Andrew Verdi from Michigan, and forward Josh Fawole from Loyola in the MLS Superdraft.
Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. at Joe DiMaggio Sports Complex in Clearwater, Fla. The game will not be televised or broadcast, but updates will be available at LouCity.com after the match.
LouCity’s current roster, listed alphabetically by position:
Goalkeepers (3): Chris Hubbard, Ben Lundt, Muamer Ugarak
Defenders (6): Oscar Jimenez, Pat McMahon, Jimmy Ockford, Alexis Souahy, Sean Totsch, Akil Watts
Midfielders (7): Corben Bone, Paolo DelPiccolo, Napo Matsoso, Niall McCabe, Magnus Rasmussen, Speedy Williams, Elijah Wynder
Forwards (5): George Davis IV, Antoine Hoppenot, Brian Ownby, Luke Spencer, Abdou Thiam