UofL hopes to open Louisville up to world of soccer with new facility

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by Whitney Harding

WHAS11.com

Posted on June 16, 2014 at 9:03 PM

Updated Monday, Jun 16 at 9:03 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- The University of Louisville is hoping to open the city to the world of soccer with a new state of the art facility.

“You’re going to see how fast the game really is,” assistant head coach Mario Sanchez said. “The speed the ball moves, the speed the players are at and now you're going to see wow these guys are great athletes!"

The indoor area of the complex boasts a state of the art sports medicine area as well as a lounge for players to relax and do homework. 

"To have a stand-alone facility for an Olympic sport is almost unheard of in college athletics,” Sanchez explained. “And to see one of this size with all the bells and whistles it just shows the commitment [Athletic Director Jurich] has made to soccer in this community."

And for the players that have always heard “no soccer inside”? Well, there’s a specific room for that.

"This is a place for soccer!” Sanchez exclaimed. “This gives the players a place to kick the ball around and not mess up the locker room. The coaches are laughing because we are going to probably come in here and kick the ball as well!”

The star attraction of the complex is the actual stadium. It will give fans an up close experience much like the stadiums in Europe.

"It's going to bring that intimate feeling to the game,” Sanchez said. “Which is, you know, again for American soccer is unheard of. Lots of times you play in a track/soccer stadium with the track around you.

Here without the track around the field you're going to see how fast the game really is.”

Both the men’s and women’s soccer programs hope this unique facility will help build a soccer fan base in Louisville.

"We always expect to compete for a national championship and this year is no different,” Sanchez said. “With the excitement this building is going to have, we're expecting to compete for a national championship."
 

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