LEXINGTON, Ky. — The United Soccer League announced the addition of Lexington Professional Soccer as a USL League One expansion club set to begin play in the 2023 season. The club’s inaugural season will begin at a local collegiate facility, the details of which will be announced in the coming weeks. The majority owner of Lexington Pro Soccer is Tower Hill Sports, founded by Bill Shively.
“This is an exciting moment for USL League One, the city of Lexington, and Central Kentucky,” said USL President Jake Edwards. “Since League One’s inception, Lexington is a place we’ve wanted to be because of its celebrated sports history and growing appetite for soccer. With tremendous leadership in Bill Shively, Vince Gabbert, and Tower Hill Sports, this club will create a new source of great pride for the people of Lexington and the Central Kentucky region.”
The current USL League One regular season involves 12 teams playing 28 games over 30 weeks and concludes Oct. 30 with six teams qualifying for the playoffs. In addition to Lexington, Ky., USL League One’s announced expansion markets over the next two seasons include Central Valley, Ca., Northern Colorado, and Spokane, Wash.
Lexington Pro Soccer will respond to the RFP for the High Street Development Project with the intent to construct a state-of-the-art, soccer-specific stadium at the site. The venue would be able to accommodate festivals, concerts, and other events, providing another entertainment option in downtown Lexington. The club is also exploring multiple locations in Fayette County that could become the site of the club’s training grounds and USL Academy program.
“Lexington has a rich and storied tradition of sporting excellence, from the racetrack to the hardwood and beyond. Our local teams and athletes have long been among the best, and our fans are some of the most passionate in the nation. Our community is comprised of a diverse and international citizenry, which has a deep appreciation for the game of soccer. To bring a Professional club to Lexington is a natural fit,” said Club President Vince Gabbert. “We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to bring a USL League One club to our great city and to our incredible fans. League One features an impressive lineup of community-driven soccer clubs, and we’re honored that Lexington will now join that group and become a part of the USL family.”
The club’s brand and crest will take shape the coming months with local residents and soccer fans playing a vital role in the development process. The club will conduct multiple focus groups, town hall sessions and workshops to gather ideas so that the club’s name, colors and marks reflect the energy, culture and diversity of the whole Lexington community.
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