NWSL: Christy Holly named first-ever Racing Louisville head coach

Christy Holly

Louisville, Kentucky — Racing Louisville will begin play in the National Women’s Soccer League next year. However, the building blocks are already in place a few months ahead of time. Today, the club announced that Christy Holly will serve as the first-ever head coach.

Holly joins the Louisville expansion side after spending time working for U.S. Soccer. There, he was an opposition analyst, helping the federation win the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. However, this won’t be his first NWSL stint, or coaching stint.

Holly managed Sky Blue FC from 2016-17. Before his first head coaching chance, he was an assistant at Sky Blue FC for three seasons.

He was the manager that drafted Raquel Rodriguez to the team, a young Costa Rican international talent. However, Holly could not help lead Sky Blue to victories, and ended up stepping down in the summer of 2017. After he left the NWSL, he joined U.S. Soccer in his analyst role.

“Christy has a plethora of experience in the professional women’s game, and we are bringing in a well-rounded individual to coach our team,” James O’Connor, Louisville’s executive vice president of development, said. “It has been an exhaustive search involving an array of candidates from all backgrounds. Christy’s experience with elite youth talent and rapport with the national team was a big differentiator for us.”

Bringing in knowledge of the players

Holly has knowledge of many players in the NWSL from his coaching tenure. However, with his U.S. Soccer work, that knowledge and expertise has grown. Holly said that spending the last three years “scouring” the world for talent has been a privilege.

“There shouldn’t be a player that I’m not aware of,” Holly said. “When it comes to our recruitment, we’ll be very particular. It’s not just about the player. It’s about the person. They have to fit the culture that we have at the organization.”

Holly said that when talking with O’Connor, he realized quickly that the club was tight-knit. There was a major influence on family and a culture of family importance.

“Within 30 seconds of speaking with James, he started talking about family and the importance of family,” Holly said. “He outlined where the club is, where the club wants to go and the type of people they want on board. We’re likeminded about the ambition to win and have a huge impact, not just in Louisville and Kentucky but the surrounding states.”

“It’s all very appealing.”

New coach, new digs, new league for Louisville 

Louisville is entering the NWSL with some pieces being put together for the puzzle. Holly being named head coach at least six months before the season begins is a major hole that was filled.

Of course, Louisville has a brand new stadium, too. Lynn Family Stadium opened up this season for the USL side, Louisville City FC. It will also be home to Racing Louisville. Christy Holly called the stadium and facility “world class.”

“I have no doubt in my mind that the club’s resources and facilities are going to be the best in the league,” Holly said. “The stadium’s the perfect fit for the NWSL, where we’re able to have a good crowd there and a full stadium feeling. We’ll generate a great atmosphere at games.”

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