Louisville City fans rally ahead of USL championship

Louisville City fans rally ahead of USL championship
Richard Ballard (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Richard Ballard (Source: WAVE 3 News)
The winner of Monday's game will take home the USL Cup. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
The winner of Monday's game will take home the USL Cup. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
(Source: WAVE 3 News)
(Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Friday's Louisville City FC pep rally was in part, a reflection.

The drums, cheers, hype videos and speeches highlighted how the team got here.

"We're three down and one to go," owner John Neace said.

For Tom Farmer, it was a look back on years of work.

"Sat down at Molly Malone's in the Highlands and really hashed this out and now here we are," Farmer said of a meeting in 2013.

It would take more than a year from that time for Louisville soccer to come into being.

Since then, it's exploded.

"We're showcasing not only what the city can do in terms of showing but also the product on the pitch," Farmer said.

The loudest cheer during the pep rally might have been for hometown hero Richard Ballard, a midfielder who graduated from Manual High School and IU.

"I've been playing soccer since I was three years old," Ballard said. "We're making a lot of noise. We're making headlines."

Last week, the rookie phenom pushed the squad into its first championship, hitting a penalty kick to vanquish New York.

"To see the hometown guy finish off a game where we finally got over the team that's knocked us off the last two years, it was a huge burden off my shoulders," Robert Sherek Jr. said.

Louisville City expects a sellout crowd Monday for the team's USL championship. The club will take on the Swope Park Rangers at 9 p.m.

"I always thought about it, hoping that maybe one day it would happen," Ballard said. "It's pretty sweet now that it's here."

Friday was a reflection back on the journey.

"We got the whole city supporting us and behind us," Ballard said.

Monday's game is the destination.

"This big game is as big as it gets," Sherek said.

Copyright 2017 WAVE 3 News. All Rights Reserved.