Ahead of its 2019 title game and amid a period of uncertainty, the NWSL is expanding.
The league announced Tuesday that it will be expanding to Louisville in 2021, when a to-be-named club will launch under the same ownership group that operates USL's two-time reigning champion Louisville City FC. The club will play at the new, soccer-specific Lynn Family Stadium, which is set to open next spring.
“We are very excited to welcome John Neace and Louisville City FC into the NWSL,” league president Amanda Duffy said in a statement. “With the club’s growing, passionate fanbase, coupled with its strong ownership group, and its significant investment in a soccer specific stadium in a downtown location, we are thrilled to bring the highest level of women’s professional soccer to the area.”
NWSL currently stands at nine clubs, but more expansion is in the offing. The Equalizer has reported that Sacramento, which just landed an MLS expansion team on Monday, is in advance talks to feature a women's team as well, starting next year. Atlanta, which has enjoyed tremendous success on the field and at the gate in MLS, has also been touted as a potential city for the NWSL.
While Louisville City boats back-to-back USL champions, NWSL could feature a repeat winner as well, with the North Carolina Courage looking to lift the trophy again when they host the Chicago Red Stars in Sunday's final.