During the team’s inaugural 2009-10 season in the Professional Arena Soccer League (PASL) the Lightning (11-5) soared to a 2nd place finish in the Eastern Division featuring the St. Louis Illusion, Detroit WAZA, Ohio Vortex and the Cincinnati Express. Three times last season, the Lightning lost to our experienced Cincinnati rival (2008-09 PASL national championship runner-up) by one goal (twice in overtime). In our final showdown of the regular season, Louisville beat Cincinnati 8-5 in front of 1,547 hometown fans at Mockingbird Valley Sports Arena. The team was just one spot shy of clenching a playoff birth, but earned the right to host the legendary San Diego Sockers in the championship match of the US Open Cup Tournament.
In the inaugural season, five members of the Lightning were awarded all-league honors including PASL Coach of the Year Scott Budnick and First-Team All Star scoring sensation Safety Kovacevic. The team’s full roster features a diverse mix of players hailing from the USA, Germany, Bosnia, England, and Mexico, but the majority played for local colleges including UofL, UK, Indiana University, Bellarmine University, Centre College, Transylvania University, Butler University and Vanderbilt University.
Louisville provided overwhelming support of the Lightning in our inaugural season as we developed close ties with area businesses, youth clubs, recreational leagues, and individual enthusiasts. The Lightning receives approximately 1,000 hits per day on our first class website, has over 3,300 facebook fans, and circulates its E-newsletter to over 5,000 recipients. Game nights are high-energy and family friendly featuring packed house, sold out crowds and non-stop entertainment including a DJ/Emcee, free kid-zone with inflatables, the Lightning Ladies Dance Team, a Thunder Zone superfan area, and a beer garden. Over the summer, the Lightning participated in the Kentucky Derby Festiville great balloon race, hosted a 3 v 3 soccer tournament with over 250 attendees, and conducted three weeks of soccer camps coaching and teaching over 150 youth players.
The 2010-2011 season is upon us with open tryouts in September, pre-season training in October, and the home opener kick-off in November. As we prepare for the upcoming year on the heels of the wildly popular World Cup, we invite you to join our team and start impacting your community today.
Inaugural Season Facts and Figures:
• Average attendance of over 1,000 spectators X 9 Games!
• Record attendance of 1,547 spectators
• Total attendance of over 9,000 spectators
• Lightning E-newsletter with over 5,000 recipients
• Facebook page with over 3,300 interactive fans
• Louisvillelightning.com receiving up to 1,000 hits daily
• Featured on local television news broadcasts such as WHAS 11, FOX 41, WAVE 3, and WLKY
• Featured in The Courier Journal, The Voice Tribune, Louisville.com, Louisvillemojo.com, The Louisville Cardinal, The Turret, and more
• PASL East Division Runner-Up
• Open Cup Finalist