Louisville City FC's Oscar Jimenez and Nashville SC's Kosuke Kimura battle for possession during a 2018 Championship regular season meeting between the clubs at Slugger Field. | Photo courtesy Em-Dash Photography / Louisville City FC
Defending USL Cup champion Louisville City FC and Nashville SC, one of the sides expected to be a serious challenger for its title in the 2019 USL Championship season, announced on Friday a preseason exhibition between the two clubs set for Saturday, February 9 at the world-class facilities of IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
The regional rivals squared off four times in the 2018 season and finished with one win apiece and one draw in the Championship regular season, while LouCity claimed victory when the sides met in the Round of 16 in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup to advance to the historic tournament’s Quarterfinals for the first time.
“Preseason exhibition matches are all about being able to evaluate our players in preparation of the upcoming regular season, and there is no better measuring stick than the two-time defending champions,” said Nashville Technical Director & VP of Soccer Operations Mike Jacobs.
This offseason added a new storyline to the rivalry, with former LouCity forward Cameron Lancaster making the move to the Music City in December as he became the second signing for Nashville MLS ahead of its entry to Major League Soccer in 2020. Lancaster – who set a Championship record with 25 regular-season goals for Louisville last season – will spend the 2019 season on loan with NSC and will go up against numerous familiar faces should he see action in the contest.
Nashville had previously announced preseason exhibitions against the Montreal Impact on February 6 during their preseason trip to Florida and against New York City FC on February 22 at First Tennessee Park as it prepares for its second season in the Championship. More details on preseason plans for both clubs are expected to be announced soon.