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Louisville City signs Elijah Wynder to contract extension

By Staff, 01/19/23, 1:25PM EST


Club’s first academy product to join pro ranks was voted Championship’s Comeback Player of the Year in 2022

Louisville City FC has signed Elijah Wynder - who in 2021 became the first player from the club's Academy to sign professionally with the First Team - to a contract extension through the 2024 USL Championship season. | Photo courtesy Em-Dash Photography /

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Louisville City FC announced on Thursday the club had signed midfielder Elijah Wynder to a contract extension through the 2024 USL Championship season, keeping the club’s first professional signing from its academy for at least the next two seasons. The transaction is pending league and federation approval.

The 19-year-old midfielder grew significantly through his second professional campaign, returning from a devastating knee injury suffered in 2021. Wynder’s campaign was capped by scoring the game-winning goal in extra time of LouCity’s 1-0 victory against the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the Eastern Conference Final of the 2022 USL Championship Playoffs.

Wynder was honored for his perseverance with the inaugural USL Championship Comeback Player of the Year award presented by Shift4.

“First and foremost, this is a deserved extension for Elijah,” said LouCity Head Coach Danny Cruz. “It has been a joy to watch his progression after the adversity he faced with his injury. He finished 2022 playing at a high level and provided us all with some memorable moments in this club's history. When you look at his development and how he has continued to grow, we believe he has a very bright future. We are excited to be able to extend Elijah's contract and look forward to seeing him back on the field for years to come.”

Wynder, who originally signed a USL Academy contract with LouCity going into the 2020 season, turned professional before the 2021 campaign. Then came the injury, which counted him out a calendar year until he opened 2022 with a loan spell at USL League One’s FC Tucson.

Once recalled last July, Wynder made 13 appearances for LouCity, scoring his first two professional goals in the process, including the game-winner against Tampa Bay to secure the club’s fourth Eastern Conference title.

“It was a no-brainer to re-sign when I was offered it," Wynder said. "We've got a solid group of guys here, and we all want the same thing, which is a trophy at the end of the year. I'm excited to get started."

A Louisville native, Wynder continues to play alongside his 17-year-old brother, Josh, a star LouCity defender. The Wynder brothers were the first and second players to sign pro deals out of the LouCity Academy, which has also gone on to produce First Team midfielder Carlos Moguel Jr., defender Owen Damm and defender Sebastian Sanchez.

Before his time in purple, Wynder emerged as a top talent for his youth club, Ohio Elite Soccer Academy-Kentucky. He also played at Louisville Collegiate, being named Kentucky’s Boys Soccer Player of the Year at the 2019-2020 Courier Journal Sports Awards.

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