LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - With Kentucky and Louisville advancing to the Sweet 16 everyone has basketball on their minds. But there is another sport that's generating a lot of excitement - soccer! Louisville City FC will be kicking off its home season opener Saturday at Louisville Slugger Field in a contest against St. Louis FC at 3 p.m.
The team practiced at the Assumption Green Sports Complex on Wednesday before the big game.
"Great group of fellas very talented bunch," said player Niall McCabe, a native of Dublin who plays midfield.
It's a group that's ready to prove themselves. They have a passion for soccer and they hope you will see why.
"We've got guys from Israel, Denmark, the UK, California, literally all over America," said Coach James O'Connor.
"I think it's a growing sport in the United States but, at home it's soccer, soccer, soccer!" said McCabe.
O'Connor is proud of his teams undefeated pre-season. Their practice field off River Road is getting a makeover after the perfect storm of problems which has caused them them to bounce around for practice sessions. Pulling through these issues, O'Connor said, is proof his players want to win.
"What makes them special is their character," said O'Connor. "I think they've had a lot of adversity already in the six weeks we've been here with the snow with the training and flooding so we've had a lot to deal with, but they've coped admirably."
Their focus is to Saturday's game. Louisville Slugger Field is being transformed to a soccer field. The infield dirt has been covered with artificial turf. A retractable pitcher's mound will help transition the surface between the baseball diamond and soccer pitch.
"We trained on the stadium yesterday (Tuesday) for the first time," said Matt Fondy, a striker. "It will be interesting with the baseball field, but it's going to be a show."
A fast paced show that is so popular overseas, Louisville is making history by embracing it here.
"Soccer is right around the corner," said Fondy. "I think Louisville is going to jump on the bandwagon."
"It's only going to get bigger from here," said McCabe.
The official Adidas brand jerseys for the team will be revealed Thursday. To purchase merchandise and tickets click here.
There has been a major push for support behind the Louisville City FC from a group called The Coopers. To get you pumped for the game, they'll be having a "March to the Match" and will march from Patrick O'Shea's to Louisville Slugger Field for the game.
"It's hard to explain the excitement the word itself isn't enough," said Tim Clark of The Coopers. "This city hasn't seen anything like this before it's a chance for the citizens to build something on their own."
The march starts at 3 p.m. Saturday. For more information on the march go to the The Coopers Facebook page by clicking here.