MONDAY, FEB. 10, 2020 - Louisville City Football Club announced the roster of 17 local players for the first-ever USL Academy Cup Monday. Louisville City will be one of 33 USL clubs competing in the new USL Academy Cup. The Eastern Conference event set for February 14-17 at the Premier Sports Campus in Lakewood Ranch, Fla.
“Our roster for the inaugural USL Academy Cup is a great representation of Kentucky Youth Soccer,” Louisville City Director of Youth Development Mario Sanchez said. “Over the last eight months we have had over 70 kids invited to our training sessions to be evaluated for this team. This group of young men who have been selected for the team have proven their ability and desire to compete at an elite level. This event is a very important first step as we continue to build a pathway for youth players to our pro team. We hope to see some of these young men representing Louisville City FC at Lynn Family Stadium in the future.”
The Louisville City Academy Cup roster consists of 17 young players from all over Kentucky. The 2020 USL Academy Cup features U-13 and U-17 age groups. Louisville City will be participating in the U-17 age group.
“We are very excited to have this group of players represent us at the USL Academy Cup,” Louisville City Executive Vice President of Development James O’Connor said. “Mario has done a great job of welcoming and mixing the players who come from many different teams in the area. We are grateful to all the local teams and soccer community who have supported us in giving the players this wonderful opportunity.”
Louisville City’s first Academy Cup roster features teens from Louisville, Shelbyville, Versailles, and Bowling Green.
Defender Sebastian Sanchez and Forward Dino Hodzic both attend Ballard High School in Louisville. John Jeffus (GK) and Elijah Wynder (MF) are Region 7 soccer champions from Louisville Collegiate School. Josh Wynder will join his older brother, Elijah, on the roster to compete at the 2020 USL Academy Cup.
Four young men on the LouCity academy roster come from Kentucky Country Day. Midfielder Nate Traughber, forward Eyob McFarland, and twins Brendan (MF) and Zach (F) Schonwetter helped Kentucky Country Day win their District in 2018.
Goalkeeper Clayton Brooks and defender Patrick Walz from 14-time State Champion Saint Xavier High School, and Kuker Nodler, a Liberia native who is a defender from Louisville’s Atherton High School, round out the Louisville contingent on the roster.
Midfielder Carlos Moguel Jr from Martha Layne Collins High School in Shelbyville is an all-state soccer player and kicker on his football team. Versailles’ Owen Damm plays for Woodford County High School.
Three players on the LouCity academy roster come from Bowling Green. Defender Marcus Anthony Cano and forward Eldin Velic both attend South Warren, and Damir Beganovic is a midfielder from Warren Central High.
The USL Academy program was founded in 2019 specifically for the 2020 USL Academy Cup. All of the young men on the Academy Cup roster train independently with their club and high school teams and have come together to train weekly as a team for Louisville City as well.
LouCity’s current Academy Cup team, listed alphabetically by position:
Goalkeepers (2): Clayton Brooks, John Jeffus
Defenders (6): Anthony Cano, Owen Damm, Kuker Nodler, Sebastian Sanchez, Patrick Walz, Josh Wynder
Midfielders (5): Damir Beganovic, Carlos Moguel Jr, Brendan Schonwetter, Nate Traughber, Elijah Wynder
Forwards (4): Dino Hodzic, Eyob McFarland, Zach Schonwetter, Eldin Velic