The National Women’s Soccer League has confirmed that United Soccer League Championship club Louisville City FC will enter a sister team into the league in 2021.
The team will play at the under-construction, 14,000-seat Lynn Family Stadium, which is set to open in spring 2020.
The team’s name, logo, crest, and colors are expected to be named later this year. Its ownership group will work with a marketing agency and collaborate with fans over ideas. Meanwhile, an international search will take place for a head coach and technical staff before players are brought in.
With 18 months to prepare for the 2021 NWSL season, the Louisville franchise will have the longest run-up of any expansion team in the league to prepare for its first game.
The NWSL is expected to announce a Sacramento team for the 2020 season, while Major League Soccer teams Atlanta United FC and FC Cincinnati have expressed interest in establishing women’s teams in the future.
French club Olympique Lyonnais is, meanwhile, in talks to take over an existing NWSL team. LaLiga giants FC Barcelona is also looking to set up a team in the NWSL, but is insisting on a sponsorship exemption to wear Nike kits indefinitely.
The NWSL is preparing for a transition in the off-season, with the United States Soccer Federation expected to step away from its management role in the coming months. In preparation of this, the NWSL has appointed Octagon as a consultant to advise the league on its media- and marketing-rights strategy globally for the next three seasons.