LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The USL Championship on Tuesday announced a full 32-game schedule for league members, including a slate that brings a pair of successful Western Conference opponents to town.
LouCity will open its season with four straight home games in Lynn Family Stadium. Attendance restrictions and guidelines for COVID-19 have yet to be announced by the state government and club management. The brand-new Butchertown faculty has yet to play host to a full house.
LouCity's opener, on Saturday, April 24, against Atlanta United 2 in Lynn Family Stadium, had been announced previously. It also will host Birmingham Legion on May 8 and Indy Eleven on May 29.
In between, LouCity will get a visit from San Diego Loyal SC on May 22. The club is co-owned and managed by longtime U.S. Soccer standout Landon Donovan.
Other highlights include an Oct. 3 visit from New Mexico United.
Road dates include trips to play Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC on July 24 in a new $35 million soccer-specific stadium, Weidner Field. On Sept. 7, LouCity goes to Hartford Athletic, pitting last year’s top Eastern Conference points earners against one another.
Those four cross-conference and regional matchups complement the bulk of a regular season to be played within the Eastern Conference’s new Central Division. Starting with the April 24 home opener against Atlanta United 2, LouCity will match up against each divisional opponent twice home and away, accounting for the 2021 season’s remaining 28 games.
More information regarding stadium capacity, kickoff times and broadcast assignments will follow in the weeks to come.
“We’re glad to have more dates to work toward, especially visits from San Diego and New Mexico that will be highly anticipated matchups for our fan bases,” said LouCity’s head coach and sporting director, John Hackworth. “At the same time, this schedule presents a number of challenges.
“While we’re starting the season as early as allowed, the back half of the season is congested with games well beyond normal. Finding ways to keep legs fresh will be key while pushing for another trophy.”
LouCity, which has brought back the core of a roster that advanced to last year’s Eastern Conference Final, will be vying to win its third USL Championship Final in 2021. Among the club’s returners are All-League First Team forward Cameron Lancaster and defender Sean Totsch.
The rest of the Central Division consists of rival Indy Eleven — which will not have defeated LouCity in 1,120 days when the clubs next meet on May 29 — along with Birmingham Legion FC, FC Tulsa, Memphis 901 FC, OKC Energy and Sporting KC II.
San Diego Loyal’s Donovan, who led the club to a playoffs near miss in its debut season last year, remains the joint U.S. Men’s National Team leader in goals (57) with Clint Dempsey and is alone atop the assists list (58). His presence won’t be the only story line when San Diego visits with Hackworth’s oldest son, Morgan, a defender for the Loyal.
As for Louisville’s other Western Conference visitors, New Mexico United led the USL championship in attendance in 2019 at 12,963 per game, ensuring a large crowd will be on hand at Lynn Family Stadium with plenty more watching from afar.
The club’s first cross-conference away date should be a headliner for Colorado Springs as well. Its new venue, Weidner Field in downtown, will hold 8,000 fans and notably is the USL Championship’s highest elevated stadium some 6,035 feet above sea level.
Hartford Athletic, perhaps the strongest test a regional opponent could provide LouCity, went 11-3-2 during 2020’s abbreviated campaign, posting the same record as the boys in purple. Goal differential elevated LouCity to the Eastern Conference’s No. 1 playoffs seed.
Hartford hails from the USL Championship’s Atlantic Division, Colorado Springs from the Mountain Division and San Diego from the Pacific Division. The league's 2021 playoff format is to be announced.
2021 Louisville City FC regular season schedule (home games listed in bold):
April 24: LouCity vs. Atlanta United 2
May 8: LouCity vs. Birmingham Legion FC
May 22: LouCity vs. San Diego Loyal SC
May 29: LouCity vs. Indy Eleven
June 6: Atlanta United 2 vs. LouCity
June 12: LouCity vs. Memphis 901 FC
June 16: LouCity vs. Birmingham Legion FC
June 19: FC Tulsa vs. LouCity
June 26: LouCity vs. Indy Eleven
July 2: Sporting KC II vs. LouCity
July 10: FC Tulsa vs. LouCity
July 14: LouCity vs. OKC Energy FC
July 17: LouCity vs. Atlanta United 2
July 23: Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC vs. LouCity
July 28: Sporting KC II vs. LouCity
July 31: LouCity vs. OKC Energy FC
Aug. 7: LouCity vs. Sporting KC II
Aug. 14: LouCity vs. FC Tulsa
Aug. 22: OKC Energy FC vs. LouCity
Aug. 28: Birmingham Legion FC vs. LouCity
Sept. 3: LouCity vs. FC Tulsa
Sept. 7: Hartford Athletic vs. LouCity
Sept. 12: OKC Energy FC vs. LouCity
Sept. 18: Indy Eleven vs. LouCity
Sept. 25: Memphis 901 FC vs. LouCity
Sept. 29: Atlanta United 2 vs. LouCity
Oct. 3: LouCity vs. New Mexico United
Oct. 9: LouCity vs. Sporting KC II
Oct. 13: Memphis 901 FC vs. LouCity
Oct. 16: Indy Eleven vs. LouCity
Oct. 23: LouCity vs. Memphis 901 FC
Oct. 30: Birmingham Legion FC vs. LouCity
Copyright 2021 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.