NASHVILLE – Nashville Soccer Club will get a chance to face off with one of its top rivals earlier than expected in 2019. While down in Florida for training camp, Nashville will play the two-time defending USL Cup champions Louisville City FC. While the matchup isn’t on the USL Championship regular season schedule until August, the teams will meet at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. on February 9 at 2:00 p.m. CT.
Nashville and Louisville met four times last season, three in regular season play, and in the fourth round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The teams split the regular season matchups, as each won once and the sides played to a draw once. In the Open Cup, Louisville beat Nashville to advance in the domestic tournament.
The amount of games against each other, and the slim margin between the teams created an instant regional rivalry in Nashville SC's inaugural season in 2018. With both teams returning plenty of talent and adding more in the offseason, this preseason friendly will surely provide a good barometer to where each team is at early on.
The preseason contest will also serve as Nashville SC forward Cameron Lancaster’s first game against his former club. Lancaster spent the last four seasons at Louisville City, leading them to back-to-back USL Championship titles in 2017 and 2018. While a more emotional return to Louisville might await in August, it will be interesting to see the potent goalscorer go against his former teammates.
IMG Academy is a popular destination for many USL and MLS teams during preseason training camp, and Nashville SC will be making its second trip there in as many years. Last season, Nashville SC played twice at IMG, picking up draws against the Chicago Fire (0-0) and Ottawa Fury (1-1). In addition to the Louisville City game, Nashville will play the Montréal Impact on Feb. 6, although that game will be held at Premier Sports Campus in Lakeland, Fla.
Streaming information for both of Nashville's game is to be determined, but both of Nashville SC's games at IMG Academy last season were streamed online.