WHO COMPRISES LEXINGTON SPORTING CLUB OWNERSHIP GROUP?
Lexington Sporting Club is majority-owned by Tower Hill Sports. William J. Shively, Founder of Tower Hill Sports, and his wife, Donna, are widely respected for their investment in the Lexington community and in the city’s sports industry. Shively, who owns the historic Dixiana Thoroughbred horse farm, opened the first Tower Hill Sports complex in January 2019, to provide an outstanding soccer experience for youth and adult players alike. The company’s second complex opened in 2021.
Stephen Dawahare and Carter Carnegie are also involved as minority owners.
WHAT IS USL LEAGUE ONE?
Since its launch in 2017, United Soccer League’s (USL) League One has quickly become the fastest-growing professional soccer league in North America. USL League One aims to bring professional soccer to fans in communities across the country and currently comprises 11 teams for the 2022 season. League One operates as a third division professional men’s league and is sanctioned by U.S. Soccer.
ARE ANY PLAYERS, COACHES, STAFF OR EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP SIGNED TO THE TEAM?
The club roster and complete coaching staff will be developed in preparation for the inaugural season in 2023. Vince Gabbert has been named President of Lexington Sporting Club. Gabbert, a native of Northern Kentucky, has served on the boards of local organizations including Commerce Lexington and the Bluegrass Sports Commission. Gabbert will retain his position of Vice-President of Strategic Initiatives and Legislative Affairs for Keeneland, a significant institution in the sports industry.
Sam Stockley has been named the club’s Sporting Director. Stockley, a native of Tiverton, England, played professionally in England, Hungary and the United States for nearly 20 years, and transitioned into coaching and technical director roles in both the United States and England at all levels from youth to professional, including the National Team level with the U.S. Soccer Federation. Stockley has spent the last two years with the Welsh FA as coach education instructor and consultant.
IS THIS PART OF A LARGER USL LEAGUE ONE EXPANSION?
Yes — the USL’s mission is to bring sustainable professional soccer to communities across the country. The league is currently engaged in active conversations with 40-plus markets and has made the decision to take a proactive role in the initial structuring of those deals.
As the league’s presence increases around the country, it is committed to investing alongside committed, sophisticated ownership groups to build clubs that authentically represent their communities and use soccer as a force for good.
WHERE WILL THE CLUB PLAY ITS HOME GAMES?
Lexington Sporting Club is finalizing an agreement to initially play at a local collegiate facility, and further details on that agreement will be forthcoming. The club is exploring multiple site locations in Fayette County to be developed into the training grounds and stadium of the club, as well as the home to their Academy program, further advancing the game in Lexington and Central Kentucky.
WILL THERE BE PUBLIC TRYOUTS?
Lexington and Central Kentucky has amazing homegrown soccer talent. Lexington Sporting Club wants to make sure to showcase that talent and will host tryouts closer to the inaugural season in 2023 to identify local, regional and national talent. Additionally, Lexington Sporting Club plans to launch its Youth Soccer program for the 2022 season to begin its commitment to player development, while introducing the region to the club’s brand of soccer ahead of the first team debuting in 2023.
HOW LONG IS THE SEASON?
The USL League One season runs from March to October with playoffs running through the end of November.
HOW CAN I FOLLOW THE TEAM?
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IS THERE A SUPPORTERS CLUB?
As Lexington Sporting Club continues building, the club will work with supporters and focus groups in the region to develop a brand representative of Lexington and the Central Kentucky region. More information on how to have your voice heard and to be an official supporter of the club will be provided in the coming weeks.