The National Women's Soccer League, perhaps the biggest women's football league in the world, recently welcomed a new addition to the division. Racing Louisville became the latest team to join USA's top flight less than two years ago.
Because of Covid-19 restrictions, the Kentucky-based team had to bide their time as they counted down the days to their first ever fixture as a professional side. That day finally came earlier this month when they took on Orlando Pride. It was certainly a match to remember as Racing Louisville's first ever NWSL match was played at their home ground, the Lynn Family Stadium, a venue shared by both the men's and women's teams.
Cece Kizer made history as she opened up her side's scoring portfolio with a calmly taken strike into the back of Orlando's net. A thrilling fixture in the sunshine ended a 2-2 draw – a massive result for the newly established Louisville.
Spearheaded by Northern Irish manager Christy Holly, the lavender side went into their next match in high spirits. It was a loss on the road this time round, but a strong Louisville defence managed to limit opponents Washington Spirit to just the one goal.
For a side that finished in a respectable mid-table position last season, it is testament to Louisville that the Spirit were unable to dominate the game.
Holly has recruited the likes of Japanese centurion Yuki Nagasato, former West Ham defender Erin Simon and their team captain Michelle Betos, who has enjoyed spells in Australia and Argentina.
A new competition, The International Women's Cup, will take place this year in Louisville, with the city's native side heading the event along with Chicago Red Stars, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain.
This tournament, plus a very positive start to their NWSL career, will only help propel Racing Louisville into the spotlight as the year goes on. How far will the newcomers go? Who will they bring to the club next as they look to challenge the league's heavyweights?News Now - Sport News