Louisville City FC takes a break from USL play to play in their first-ever friendly against an international opponent. LouCity will host FC Kaiserslautern of the German second division on Wednesday 6/21 at 8pm EST. This match will be particularly exciting for Oliver Semmle, the first-year LouCity goalkeeper. Willie McDonald of Last Word On Sports had the opportunity to speak with Semmle before the match. Discussed his excitement about playing a team from Germany, how LouCity can use this as a learning experience and the great opportunity for the fans to see a European side in person.
It’s time for our first-ever international friendly
— Louisville City FC (@loucityfc) June 21, 2023
Semmle grew up in Germany and played for Karlsruher SC, a local rival of FC Kaiserslautern. Semmle is very excited about the match and the opportunity to get another crack at the old rival. “For me personally, it’s really exciting because it’s a local team close to where I grew up and a rival of the team I previously played for.”
In addition to the excitement Semmle feels personal, he also noted how great of an opportunity this is for LouCity. “It’s a great test to see what level we’re at and what level they’re at and to compare the second tiers (of professional soccer) in Germany and the U.S.” It will be interesting to see how the USL side stacks up against the second division of such a country where soccer is so massive.
Growing the Game
After first arriving in the United States back in 2018 to play collegiate soccer, Semmle noted some differences in the style of play between Germany and the U.S. “In Germany, the focus was much more on tactics and here in the U.S. it is more about athleticism.” He also noted that he felt Germany was ahead of the U.S. in terms of youth development, however, since arriving in Louisville he’s been pleasantly surprised by the developmental system and the level of the academy players. “Seeing how many players from the academy are getting up here in Louisville (to the first team), I’d say they’re catching up and doing a really good job developing players.”
Semmle also spoke about the growing interest in soccer in the United States, especially with the World Cup coming in 2026. Stating that this is a great opportunity for fans to come out and see a team from another country. A chance to compare the style of play and the speed of the game to what they are normally exposed to. He also mentioned that he’s really excited to see that game grow in the United States over the next few years.
Looking to Turn Things Around
LouCity has had a bit of an up and down start to the season. Far from disastrous, but certainly below their expectations. LouCity currently sit fifth in the USL Championship Eastern Conference. They’ve struggled to find the back of the net, scoring just 15 goals in their 14 league games thus far.
While the match will be particularly exciting for Oliver Semmle, he’s mainly focused on using it as an opportunity for the team to improve. Semmle noted that while the overall game plan for the friendly is up to the coaches, he feels this will be a great opportunity for some guys to show what they’re capable of. “This is a great opportunity to try some different things and fix things, so when we return against Las Vegas on Saturday we’re feeling good” said Semmle, “This is a good chance to make our team stronger because everybody has the quality to play and to start.”
LouCity will work to find their scoring boots before returning to USL action this weekend. They’ll take on Las Vegas Lights Saturday, 6/24 at 8PM EST.
Photo Credit: Louisville City FC.
The post Louisville City: The Friendly Particularly Exciting for Oliver Semmle appeared first on Last Word On Soccer.