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This spring and summer you’ll be able to see some of the area’s best men’s amateur soccer players in Shelbyville.
The River City Rovers, a member of the Premier Development League (PDL), will play their home games at the Shelby County Athletic Complex on Burks Branch Road.
The Rovers, who are in their third season of existence, played their home games the past two years at Christian Academy of Louisville but will relocate a little farther up Interstate 64 this season.
The Rovers will rent the stadium from Shelby County High School, and the school also will make money from concession sales that will benefit its soccer programs.
"I'm excited about the opportunities this partnership will provide for not only my players, but for the Shelby County soccer community as a whole,” Shelby County boys’ soccer coach Tony Wood said. “My overall goal as a coach has always been to raise awareness for the sport of soccer, and I believe this venture will do just that."
River City has seven home matches – the first one May 18 and the last one July 11 – scheduled for this season. The Rovers are slated to host defending PDL national champion Forest City London in their regular-season opener.
In March the Rovers were selected to play in the 100th edition of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, and their first match, which could be played at the SCAC as well, will be May 14.
The Rovers are made up of “the most accomplished Louisville-area soccer athletes who currently play for their respective club and college teams,” according to their latest press release.
Last season the team, which went 7-7-2 and finished third in the Great Lakes Division of the PDL’s Central Conference, included players from the universities of Louisville and Kentucky as well as former Shelby County standout and Belmont University defender Bradley Shuck.
Former UofL standout Andrew Farrell, who was the No. 1 pick in the Major League Soccer Super Draft earlier this year, played five matches with the Rovers last season. Players are allowed to compete in the PDL and still maintain their NCAA eligibility.
One local player on the Rovers’ roster this season will be Collins senior standout Walker Andriot, a midfielder who earned all-state honors during his final three seasons. Andriot has signed with Xavier University.
“Even though he’s only a high school senior, chances are he’ll be playing up,” Rovers Executive Director Pete Laventis said recently.
The final roster hasn’t been solidified, but will likely have a home state, if not a hometown, flavor.
“Kentucky produces a lot of good soccer players, and Shelbyville produces a lot of good players,” Laventis said.
Tickets will be $7 at the gate, but there are group packages that can drop the cost to $5 per ticket Laventis said. For more information about tickets and group packages, visit www.roverssoccer.com.
The team continues to look for sponsors to help cover travel costs, etc.
Rovers' 2013 Schedule
18 – FOREST CITY LONDON, 7 p.m.; 23 – K-W UNITED FC, 7 p.m.; 25 – at Michigan Bucks, noon.
1 – CHICAGO FIRE, 7 p.m.; 6 – at Forest City London, 8 p.m.; 7 – at K-W United FC, 7 p.m.; 9 – at Toronto Lynx, 4 p.m.; 14 – CHICAGO FIRE, 7 p.m.; 19 – at Chicago Fire, 2 p.m.; 22 – MICHIGAN BUCKS, 7 p.m.; 29 – TORONTO LYNX, 7 p.m.
11 – CHICAGO INFERNO, 7 p.m.; 13 – at Michigan Bucks, 7:30 p.m.; 19 – at Chicago Inferno, 8:30 p.m.
Home matches in ALL CAPS will be played at the Shelby County Athletic Complex.