Bee Buck Photography
With Louisville City FC’s 2020 season concluded, Luke Spencer has announced his retirement from playing professional soccer. It’s a bittersweet moment for the club, however, as the veteran forward takes on a new role.
Spencer will make the transition to working within LouCity’s youth academy as assistant boys director and college recruitment coordinator, a full-time position that builds upon his post established earlier this year as an academy coach.
“If you look at Lynn Family Stadium, the recently formed academy, the addition of Racing Louisville FC and the development of our new training facility, it is a very exciting time for the club and for the city of Louisville,” Spencer said. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to remain part of the LouCity-Racing family, and I look forward to working with the staff and players in the youth academy.”
Spencer, 29, is hanging up his boots after four years in purple. He led the club’s first championship-winning team in scoring in 2017, was one of three player-coaches appointed amid a leadership transition in 2018 and netted the game-winning goal in that year’s final to secure a second title.
Having totaled 28 goals and 11 assists in his 104 USL Championship appearances with LouCity, Spencer will be remembered most for his playoff heroics. The Cincinnati product tallied a goal and two assists in the 2017 postseason before finding the back of the net in the 2018 final to cap a frenetic second half attacking sequence for the boys in purple.
“He has been an unbelievable player and leader for our team,” said LouCity coach John Hackworth. “While it’s sad to know we’ve seen him play for the last time, this is a smooth transition that keeps a great person in our community who has done everything for this club and deserves a ton of credit.”
Success in Spencer’s new role should come naturally, just as it did in 2018 when then-LouCity coach James O’Connor departed for Major League Soccer’s Orlando City SC. In the interim, before Hackworth was brought in to finish the campaign, Spencer along with midfielders Paolo DelPiccolo and George Davis IV ran the team as player-coaches coined the “triumvirate.”
Spencer arrived in Louisville with coaching experience, too, serving as an assistant at alma mater Xavier University. The 2012 MLS SuperDraft’s 23rd pick, Spencer never suited up for the New England Revolution due to a knee injury. He worked for Xavier — where he had racked up 29 goals to go with 21 assists — while healing up, then debuted as a pro with FC Cincinnati.
Once Spencer signed with LouCity for the 2017 season, his career took off, and he has since settled in Louisville. Spencer and his wife, Kristen, recently celebrated the birth of their first son, Emory.
“We are excited that Luke and his family have decided to stay in the LouCity organization as he begins the next step of his career,” said Mario Sanchez, youth academy director. “Throughout his time with LouCity, Luke has been a great ambassador for the club both on and off the field. I am thrilled that our academy players and our community will be able to learn and grow from his experience and expertise.”
Saturdays loss was a tough pill to swallow and not the way I imagined going out. That being said, the last four years in Louisville have been the best years of my life. I want to say thank you to the best fans in the USL Thank you to the owners and the front office!— Luke Spencer (@luke_spenc) October 27, 2020
Im excited for what the future holds and I look forward to joining a packed Lynn Family Stadium to support the lads! Also, please let me know of any indoor men’s league tryouts.— Luke Spencer (@luke_spenc) October 27, 2020
One of the best teammates I’ve ever had. One of the best people I’ve ever met. @luke_spenc I’m forever grateful for the memories and lessons. Congrats on your retirement. You changed this club and team more than anyone will ever know. Also never had a bad hair day. Impressive pic.twitter.com/oZRvKg1zxB— Paolo DelPiccolo (@pdp03) October 28, 2020