Fans say farewell to LouCity’s first head coach

Louisville City head coach gets final farewell from fans
O'Connor is headed to the major leagues in Orlando. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
O'Connor is headed to the major leagues in Orlando. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Lou City fans said O'Connor's departure is bittersweet. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Lou City fans said O'Connor's departure is bittersweet. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - In the final game for LouCity's first head coach, fans filled the stands Saturday to thank Coach James O'Connor and said goodbye.

"Of course it's bittersweet," said fan Nick Knutson. "We wish he would not leave, but you know, if anybody deserves the opportunity that he's been presented, it's going to be him."

On Friday, it was announced that O'Connor will head up the club's major league affiliate in Orlando.

The announcement came just one day after he celebrated breaking ground on the city's new soccer stadium.

"The news of him leaving is extremely disappointing," said fan Anthony Galasso. "It's kind of a day that we all feared would come eventually based on his success."

O'Connor has been part of the club since day one. In just three years, he took the team to the USL Championship twice. Last season they finished in first place.

Under his guidance, LouCity has earned more points, goals and assists than any other club in the league.

"Initially I was disappointed, but I realized it's a really good step for him," said fan Kathy Lescinski. "I'm excited that he's going to Orlando that's where he came from."

O'Connor said returning to the place where he started off as a player is an opportunity he can't pass up.

Now LouCity players will take on the role of coach until a permanent replacement is named.

"I have confidence in the front office," said Knutson. "They found James O'Connor. I feel like they can find somebody else, and somebody that's going to fit in well with our culture."

Unfortunately, the team couldn't bring home the win at O'Connor's last game. But, it was better than a loss. LouCity tied New York Red Bulls-Two 3-3.

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