Louisville City FC has signed defender Travis Smith (left) and forward Colin Elder (right) to USL Academy contracts for the 2023 Championship season. | Photos courtesy Louisville City FC
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Louisville City FC announced on Friday the club had signed defender Travis Smith and forward Colin Elder to USL Academy contracts. Both players will be eligible for selection in the club’s home opener this Saturday against El Paso Locomotive FC at Lynn Family Stadium.
USL Academy contracts allow players to train with and play for a professional team while retaining their NCAA eligibility. Smith and Elder join Issac Cano as the second and third USL Academy signings this season for LouCity, with the squad in need of some depth heading into Saturday's contest.
An All-State First Team selection out of DuPont Manual High School, Smith recorded 11 goals and 10 assists last fall. He was also selected to represent Kentucky in December at the national High School All-American Game. Smith is signed to play collegiately this fall at powerhouse Wake Forest University.
“I’m really excited and grateful for the opportunity,” said Smith said. “Learning from the pros has been an amazing experience. The real work starts now.”
From Mount Washington, Ky., Elder spent much of preseason with LouCity, appearing in friendlies against Major League Soccer’s Nashville SC and Austin FC, among other games. The Bullitt East High School senior holds the school record with 90 goals scored and also played as the kicker for the Chargers’ 2022 KHSAA 6A football state championship team. Elder is committed to play college soccer this fall locally at Bellarmine University.
“As a local player who has come through the LouCity Academy I know how much this opportunity means and I hope to be a role model for future academy players,” Elder said. “This is a fantastic opportunity for me to take the next step in my soccer career. I want to thank the first team and academy coaches for this opportunity. Now, I am looking forward to the challenge and all that comes with competing for the USL Championship's top club.”
In addition to those now signed to amateur contracts, the LouCity Academy has also produced five professionals since launching in 2020: Owen Damm, Carlos Moguel Jr., Sebastian Sanchez and brothers Elijah and Josh Wynder.