RACING LOUISVILLE FC JOINS USL W LEAGUE FOR INAUGURAL 2022 SEASON
Racing Louisville FC has joined the USL W League — the nation’s premier pre-professional women’s soccer circuit — for its inaugural 2022 season kicking off in May.
The move, announced in January, made Racing the first W League member to complete its developmental pyramid topped by a franchise from the NWSL, widely regarded as the world’s top pro women’s soccer league.
With more than 35 teams signed on, the W League has a goal to form the next generation of women’s talent both on and off the field, enhancing the player pipeline between college and the pro ranks. It also strives to use women’s soccer as a force for societal good by creating a national platform to increase opportunity, gender equity and career development.
Home W League games will be open to the public and free to attend at the Lynn Family Sports Vision & Training Center, 801 Edith Road. Select away games — among them the opener at Detroit — will be streamed live via ElevenSports.com.
“We see the W league as a way to complete our path to pro model on the Racing side,” said the club’s president, James O’Connor. “We plan to get meaningful minutes for our top academy prospects and also use the league to see the best local and national collegiate talent. There will be a number of players who will play in this league on their way to the NWSL, so it provides an excellent development opportunity for our best young talent.”
Racing Louisville is operated by the same group, Soccer Holdings, LLC, as two-time USL Championship title winner Louisville City FC. The fast-growing organization hosts senior team games at 15,304 capacity Lynn Family Stadium and plans to play W League competitions at its nearby state-of-the-art practice facility, the Lynn Family Sports Vision & Training Center.
Both Racing and LouCity formally launched their youth academies in the fall of 2020. Similar to the USL Academy League on the boys side, the W League rounds out the path to pro for the girls system, which begins for those as young as age 4, by providing an elite platform for prep-professional players to showcase themselves.
Racing’s W League squad will be led by an all-female technical staff with Kincaid Schmidt serving as head coach, Libby Stout as assistant coach and Kiley Polk as team administrator.
The roster consists of 10 current or former Racing youth academy players and 30 collegiate athletes.
“We are very proud of the group of young women who will be joining us this summer,” Schmidt said. “With the help of the first-team staff and our Racing Academy directors, we have recruited top collegiate and post-collegiate players from around the country and blended them with our youth academy players to create a highly competitive roster.
“This team will have the ability to compete with anyone in the league, and we can’t wait to get on the field.”
Racing Louisville FC’s academy director, Mario Sanchez, has appointed an all-female staff to lead its USL W League team.
Kincaid Schmidt will serve as head coach, Libby Stout as assistant coach and Kiley Polk as team administrator with Racing gearing up for the pre-professional women’s soccer circuit’s inaugural season kicking off in May.
“This is truly one of the best environments for female soccer players in the country, and I am incredibly proud and excited to be tasked with overseeing this next stage of our development pathway,” Schmidt said. “Working with all ages of our youth academy on a daily basis, I see every day how much this club means to the young girls of the Louisville community. To be able to facilitate their pathway to pro fills me with immense pride.”
Schmidt, a 34-year-old USSF A License holder, is a Florida native who previously served as the Colorado Rapids’ U19 Girls Select head coach as well as the assistant coach for the Rapids’ unbeaten WPSL team in 2020. She has since worked as junior academy director for Racing and Louisville City FC.
Before her coaching career took off, the Florida native Schmidt played from 2004-2007 at IMG Academy before captaining Division II Flagler College in her home state.
Stout, 31, also works as the Racing Academy’s goalkeeper director. The Louisville native previously helped Southern Illinois University launch its women’s soccer program as an assistant coach there from 2018-2021.
The DuPont Manual graduate went on to an All-American playing career at Western Kentucky University before continuing as a pro overseas. Stout’s stops included a stint at England’s Liverpool, where she won a title in 2014 as a teammate of future Racing defender Gemma Bonner.
Polk, 21, is another Louisville native who has worked as a coach in both the academy and with Racing’s first team. She played three seasons at the University of Louisville after attending Sacred Heart Academy, winning a state championship in 2015.
“I am humbled to be given the task of leading an incredible staff of Louisville natives who are true ambassadors for soccer in this city, and I look forward to developing a team that this club and community can be proud of,” Schmidt said.
RACING LOUISVILLE FC’S 2022 W LEAGUE SCHEDULE
|May 12||at Detroit City FC||7:30 p.m.|
|May 15||vs. Detroit City FC||1 p.m.|
|May 20||vs. Indy Eleven||7 p.m.|
|May 22||vs. Flint City AFC||7 p.m.|
|May 25||vs. Kings Hammer FC||7 p.m.|
|June 5||vs. Kalamazoo FC||7 p.m.|
|June 10||at AFC Ann Arbor||7:30 p.m.|
|June 12||at Midwest United FC||2 p.m.|
|June 17||at Indy Eleven||7 p.m.|
|June 22||vs. AFC Ann Arbor||7 p.m.|
|June 30||at Kings Hammer FC||7 p.m.|
|July 9||at Flint City AFC||2 p.m.|
Racing Louisville FC’s W League home games in 2022 will be played at the Lynn Family Sports Vision & Training Center, 801 Edith Road. Games are open to the public and free to attend.
Select away games will be streamed live via ElevenSports.com.
W league playoffs will begin July 13 and culminate with the inaugural W League Final on July 23. The playoffs will feature eight teams, one from each of the seven divisions and a wild card bid. All playoff matches will be live streamed.
The United Soccer League has assembled 43 clubs to compete in the W League’s inaugural 2022 season, with the pre-professional circuit splitting into seven divisions comprised of teams from 20 states. Racing Louisville FC will compete in a Great Lakes division against teams from Indiana, Ohio and Michigan.
W League playoffs will begin July 13 and culminate with the inaugural W League Final on July 23. The playoffs will feature eight teams, one from each of the seven divisions and a wild card bid. All playoff matches will be live streamed.
2022 USL W League Clubs
Chattanooga Red Wolves SC (Chattanooga, Tenn.)
Tennessee Soccer Club (Franklin, Tenn.)
Peachtree City MOBA (Peachtree, Ga,)
South Carolina United Bantams (Columbia, S.C.)
South Georgia Tormenta FC (Statesboro, Ga.)
Southern Soccer Academy (Marietta, Ga.)
AFC Ann Arbor (Ann Arbor, Mich.)
Detroit City FC (Detroit, Mich.)
Flint City AFC (Flint, Mich.)
Indy Eleven (Indianapolis, Ind.)
Kalamazoo FC (Kalamazoo, Mich.)
Kings Hammer FC (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Midwest United FC (Grand Rapids, Mich.)
Racing Louisville FC (Louisville, Ky.)
Chicago City SC (Chicago, Ill.)
Chicago Dutch Lions FC (Chicago, Ill.)
Green Bay Glory (Green Bay, Wis.)
Minnesota Aurora FC (Minneapolis, Minn.)
Kaw Valley FC (Lawrence, Kan.)
St. Louis Lions (St. Louis, Mo.)
AC Connecticut (Newtown, Conn.)
Cedar Stars (Teaneck, N.J.)
FA Euro New York (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
Long Island Rough Riders (Long Island, N.Y.)
Manhattan SC (Manhattan, N.Y.)
Morris Elite SC (Morris County, N.J.)
Queensboro FC (Queens, N.Y.)
Westchester Flames (Westchester, N.Y.)
Mid-Atlantic — additional club(s) to be announced
Christos FC (Baltimore, Md.)
Eagle FC (Mechanicsburg, Pa.)
McLean Youth Soccer (McLean, Va.)
Northern Virginia FC (Leesburg, Va.)
Patuxent Football Athletics (Patuxent, Md.)
Asheville City SC (Asheville, N.C.)
Charlotte Independence (Charlotte, N.C.)
Greenville Triumph SC (Greenville, S.C.)
North Carolina Courage U23s (Cary, N.C.)
North Carolina Fusion (Greensboro, N.C.) Wake FC (Holly Springs, N.C.)
Caledonia SC (Lakeland, Fla.)
Florida Elite Soccer Academy (Jacksonville, Fla.)
Miami AC (Miami, Fla.)
FC Miami City (Miami, Fla.)
Tampa Bay United (Tampa, Fla.)
Racing Louisville’s 2022 W League roster (club/college)
Goalkeepers (3): Macy Enneking (Iowa), Morgan Messner (Penn State), Shelby Smith (Racing Academy/Bellarmine)
Defenders (12): Isabella Beletic (Incarnate Word), Samantha Cary (Iowa), Ashley Cathro (Illinois), Cierra Collins (Mississippi State), Tessa Dellarose (North Carolina), Anouk Denton (Louisville), Sarah Hernandez (Louisville), Audrey King (Racing Academy), Emily Madril (Florida State), Maddie Reed (Xavier), Allison Whitfield (Louisville), Maisie Whitsett (Louisville)
Midfielders (12): Brooke Dawahare (Racing Academy), Mallory Glass (Racing Academy), Kendal Guzzardo (Racing Academy/Cincinnati), Mia Hollingsworth (Lee University), Jenna Nighswonger (Florida State), Kendra Pasquale (Illinois), Clara Robbins (Florida State), Kaitlyn Rowlett (Racing Academy/Eastern Kentucky), Ella Sanchez (Racing Academy), Kacey Smekrud (College of Charleston), Autumn Weeks (Louisville), Savina Zamborini (Louisville)
Forwards (7): Morgan Bentley (Louisville) Emily Bollman (Western Illinois), Caitlin Chase (Racing Academy), Katie Erwin (Western Kentucky), Allie George (Virginia Tech), Mackenzie Tucker (Cincinnati), Patricia Ward (Louisville)