NWSL Expansion Team to Be Called Racing Louisville FC

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NWSL's newest club has revealed its identity.

Louisville has been NWSL's next expansion destination since last year, but Wednesday it peeled back the curtain on its branding: Racing Louisville FC.

Racing Louisville–a play on both Louisville's racing heritage with the Kentucky Derby and the "Racing" team name moniker found around the world–will play at the new $65 million Lynn Family Stadium and don lavender, deep violet and mint green colors, beginning in the NWSL's 2021 season. Originally, the club had planned to be named Proof Louisville FC, an homage to the city's famed bourbon industry, but after listening to backlash and feedback it changed course. The club explained how it arrived at its name, colors and crest: 

Louisville says it is in the "final stages" of hiring its manager, with James O'Connor, the former Louisville City manager in USL and Orlando City manager in MLS, leading the search as part of his role as executive VP of development for the Soccer Holdings LLC ownership group that operates the NWSL and USL franchises. The two will share Lynn Family Stadium, which is set to open with Louisville City's first match against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on July 12. 

“We are very excited to launch our brand — a first step in bringing our team to life,” O'Connor said in a statement. “We have interviewed many coaching candidates in the last few months and are in the final stages of selecting our first coach for Racing Louisville FC. We will provide our supporters with a great technical team ranging from coaches to players who will benefit from our world-class stadium and training facilities.”

Louisville isn't the last place NWSL is mulling for expansion. A group in Los Angeles is reportedly in talks with the league about a team, while Sacramento, Atlanta, Cincinnati and Austin–all of whom are or will be MLS markets by 2022–have all been touted as potential destinations.

The league is currently approaching the end of the preliminary stage of its Challenge Cup tournament in Utah, where eight teams–Orlando Pride had to withdraw over multiple positive coronavirus tests–are vying for the title. Defending league champion North Carolina Courage is perfect through its first three games to lead the way.