Happy New Year! Be sure to take down your calendar and replace it with that new puppy-themed one you got for Christmas from your Great Aunt Linda!
As you may have noticed, many publications are fond of putting out lists and countdowns this time of year:
Here are five things you need to know about 10 things about the 15 best things of the 20 top lessons of 2014 of 2015— James Tyler (@JamesTylerESPN) December 31, 2014
We here at The Mane Land are no exception, and today we have a list of minor league proportions. Behold, the top three story-lines for Orlando City SC's USL PRO affiliate, Louisville City FC!
- The Field: The new club will play its home games this season at Louisville Slugger Field which, if you couldn't tell by the name, is primarily used and was designed to be a minor league baseball stadium. As with other soccer teams playing in baseball stadia (looking at you, Kansas City Wizards and New York City FC) the dirt infield, warning track, and pitchers mound are problems which need to be resolved for a soccer match to take place. Club officials have publicly said they are seeking solutions to those problems, including investing in a special turf which will make the transition from turf to grass less noticeable, but have yet to announce the any specifics. In a short conversation with me back in November, Head Coach James O'Connor expressed concern over the dimensions and quality of the field and how it may affect his attempts to play an attacking, possession-based style. Will the field problems be too much? Will it affect O'Connor's preferred style? The club must treat this issue with the utmost care if it plans to produce an attractive and entertaining product.
- Players? According to a report, preseason for Louisville City FC will begin on Jan. 16. This means that the club has a busy two weeks ahead. Guy Abend, Kadeem Dacres, and Juan Guzman are the only three player signings the club has announced, although there seem to be more coming in the near future. The club's communications director, Steve Peake, told me a week ago "There are several players that are being linked to the club while Coach James O'Connor is in the UK scouting talent." Regardless, the club has a short time to make the necessary moves to field a team. It'll be an exciting couple of weeks.
- Will They or Won't They/Schedule: At the team's announcement, Orlando City SC's Phil Rawlins told the crowd at Louisville Slugger Field about a pre-season friendly between Louisville and Orlando. Is this still on pace to happen? We haven't heard anything from either side on the potential of Kaka and the rest of the Lions coming to Louisville. Obviously, the game would be major for Louisville, bringing a major league club with an internationally known name that many people recognize. It would be a welcome jump start to the club's inaugural season, garnering considerable hype were it to actually go down. Needless to say, this will depend on the schedules for both clubs, due out in the coming weeks. Is the friendly still on? It would be huge for Louisville's soccer future.
That's it for this week. Check back every Friday for updates on Orlando City's USL Pro affiliate.