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Louisville City FC 2021 Season Preview

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 04/20/21, 5:00PM EDT


Louisville City FC's first season at Lynn Family Stadium produced more success, including reaching a sixth consecutive Eastern Conference Final in the USL Championship Playoffs. | Photo courtesy Em-Dash Photography / Louisville City FC

2021 Outlook

For a sixth consecutive season – every year of the club’s history – Louisville City FC advanced to the Eastern Conference Final in the USL Championship Playoffs. There would be no celebration to cap a successful first campaign at Lynn Family Stadium, as the Tampa Bay Rowdies spoiled the party for the hosts and leave LouCity without silverware for the first time in a season since 2016.

There’s no reason to believe Louisville won’t be back for more this year, however. Head Coach John Hackworth’s squad has retained almost all of its key players, including a permanent deal for standout striker Cameron Lancaster after his year on loan from Nashville SC in 2020. Also back are frontrunning allies Antoine Hoppenot and Brian Ownby, a midfield group including Paolo DelPiccolo and Corben Bone and defender Sean Totsch, whose career season earned his first Championship All-League honors.

There are notable departures, though, maybe most importantly that of midfielder Speedy Williams to Miami FC. Also gone – albeit more expectedly – is goalkeeper Ben Lundt, who claimed Championship Goalkeeper of the Year honors while on loan from FC Cincinnati a year ago. The arrival of Tyler Gibson from Indy Eleven should help mitigate Williams’ departure, and we may see some of the youngsters in the squad – most notably defender Jonathan Gomez – take a big step up in minutes.

Notable Arrivals

Tyler Gibson, Midfielder: Reliable central player could be Speedy Williams’ replacement

Jimmy McLaughlin, Forward: Quick attacking winger should fit well into LouCity’s 4-3-3

Jorge Gonzalez, Midfielder: Loanee from the Portland Timbers had eight goals last season for T2

Simon Lefebvre, Goalkeeper: 6-foot-7 shot-stopper arrives from Loudoun United FC

Notable Departures

Speedy Williams: Signed with Miami FC

Ben Lundt: Loan expired, returned to FC Cincinnati

Arda Bulut: Signed with Kasimpasa in the Turkish SuperLig

Two To Watch

Louisville City FC forward Cameron Lancaster surpassed 50 regular season goals in the Championship for his career during the 2020 season. | Photo courtesy Em-Dash Photography / Louisville City FC

Cameron Lancaster, Forward

Over the past three seasons in the Championship, no-one has scored with the prolificacy of Cameron Lancaster. The 2018 Golden Boot winner – during which he set a single-season record of 25 regular season goals – has averaged a goal every 97.6 minutes of action in the league, the only player to sit below the 100-minute mark among players with at least 10 goals. That efficiency in front of net makes Lancaster one of the best forwards the league has seen, and promises plenty more to come this year.

Sean Totsch, Defender

Previously a three-time winner of the USL Championship Final, Sean Totsch’s progression as a player hit new heights in 2020 as he put in the most noteworthy individual season of his career. The 29-year-old played 17 games, sat above 62 percent in success rates for tackles, duels and aerial duels, while helping Louisville post a league-best nine clean sheets. With a new contract signed this offseason, it appears Totsch will be holding it down on LouCity’s back line well into the future.


Louisville City FC Head Coach John Hackworth has maintained the club's high standards since arriving midway through the 2018 USL Championship season. | Photo courtesy Em-Dash Photography / Louisville City FC

John Hackworth (4th Season)

Since his arrival at Louisville City FC, John Hackworth has maintained the outstanding success established by predecessor James O’Connor while also building out a view to the future with the club’s targeting of young standouts and development of Academy players. That could come to the fore this year, with a number of LouCity’s core now 30 or older. After the emergence of Napo Matsoso and Alexis Souahy last season, more new faces could be ready for action under Hackworth’s eye this year.

Key Number

5 The connection between Cameron Lancaster and Antoine Hoppenot in LouCity’s lineup was one of the most prolific in the league last season, with five of Lancaster’s goals being assisted by Hoppenot. That relationship should continue to thrive this season to keep Louisville trained on a fourth trip to the USL Championship Final.

Possible Lineup

Projected Finish: First, Central Division

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