Interview with Amber Warren, VP of LouCity Ladies, supporters group for Racing Louisville FC
Updated: Aug 12, 2020
We sat down with Amber Warren, Vice President of LouCityLadies, supporters group for Racing Louisville FC, the NWSL expansion team coming in 2021. Read our interview below!
SH: As we inch towards 2021, when Racing will begin play, has there been buzz around the city?
AW: There has been a lot of buzz around our community, we have had a lot going on recently but we, Louisville, has been trying to get a professional team of some sort for a while now, but everybody always thought it was going to be basketball, so we’ve had a little push back from some fans of basketball about having a pro soccer team. But, the soccer community is really excited about Racing coming in, we have seen a lot more interest from people who we normally wouldn't see, because of the women’s team coming.
SH: Which cities would you like to see the league expand to next?
AW: We’d like to get something a little bit closer, obviously we have a good time with St. Louis, they are getting ready to go MLS, so I’d like to see St. Louis, maybe Nashville.
SH: Do you think Racing could inspire expansion in some other states in the region?
AW: I hope so, I know that we have quite a bit of interest from other states coming in. I know we just signed up some members from Columbus yesterday so there is a huge draw for people to travel. Obviously, NWSL fans are used to traveling so hopefully we can get some other people to join in so that the travel is not quite so far.
SH: Which players would you like to see on the team?
AW: Some of the Women’s team, the National Women’s team, we’d like to see some of them, I am a fan of Lynn Williams, we have a few O’Hara fans that would like to see her come here. Of course, Rapinoe. Julie Ertz is a fan favorite.
SH: I see Alex Morgan on your logo, any interest in her?
AW: Alex Morgan is on our logo. She is of interest, but the logo was more chosen for I guess what that moment represented during the game, the FIFA World Cup game, if that makes sense. It was kind of like how we feel about things, it was just a moment in time that we felt represented what we want to bring and what we want to showcase. So, it was not like a Alex Morgan super fan kind of thing. However, we are excited to see Alex Morgan in our tiny town and in our beautiful stadium.
SH: The NWSL as a whole is very inclusive, and LouCityLadies has made a point to be inclusive, how can other leagues follow suit and begin to attract a diverse and accepting fan base like that of the NWSL’s?
AW: Well I mean obviously to get the misogyny out of it, I think soccer does a pretty good job usually, even on the men’s side to bring in the inclusivity of everything, we try really hard, at least our supporters groups try really hard to be inclusive, to make sure that we touch the entire fan base and not just those who kind of fit our boxes. I think other fan groups or other sports just want, this is what we think, this is how we feel and you are not part of that then…. And obviously, its also about being open.
SH: What was it like for you to see the NWSL be the first sports league in the U.S. to return to play?
AW: I mean I think its great obviously, it was nice, the way they did it and they did it safely, so it’s showing that it can be done the right way. If everybody is as dedicated as NWSL was to making sure that it worked. It was actually announced last year at the end of the season or even after the season ended for NWSL that we were getting our team so this was supposed to be the first season that we knew we were coming in and had a chance to watch, but that kind of got postponed. So, we were all excited to watch because we have been trying to catch up on old games and things like that so any new players, we were not really going to know about. It was nice that they came first so we had a little bit of time to catch up before our games started with the USL.
SH: Which NWSL city are you most excited to visit to cheer on Racing?
AW: I have always wanted to go to the west coast so Portland, Seattle, one of them. I watched one of the Portland games one day this week because I emailed you that I couldn't find them, but then I found them on YouTube so I have been watching games. I remember I messaged my friend and I was like 'Portland’s fan base is amazing, they are just so loud and you can hear them', so we hope to be something like that. We have a pretty good fan base for our USL team so I hope it all transfers over.
BD: How can the NWSL promote themselves even more given the difficulty of watching if you are used to just turning on ESPN for sports?
AW: It was really nice last year when ESPN+ picked them up after the FIFA World Cup because we all already had ESPN+ for the USL team so we did get to watch a lot of the games last season. I really don't think that there is anything the NWSL can do, it all comes down to the syndicates, who wants to pick them up, who wants to spend that money. Basically, the only thing we can do as fans is make sure that we watch. The more people that tune in, obviously the more people they are going to get for ESPN or CBS All Access, the more people they are going to get and the more interest they get, the more they are going to realize that this is something that we want to promote because its going to bring us money. Even if you can’t watch the game live, you have to go back and re watch it, if you can at least have it on while it’s live, it shows up as hey someone is watching this.
SH: Do you have a message to fans about Racing Louisville FC?
AW: I think some people are hesitant to give soccer a try, they want to stick with the status quo which is you know baseball, basketball, american football, so I guess basically it is just give soccer a try, its actually a pretty amazing sport. I didn’t grow up playing it but it pretty much sucked me in from the beginning. My husband has been a huge soccer fan and that's where I found it and then my daughter started playing. I think it is just changing a mindset, just being open to new possibilities.
......It might not be the NBA, it might not be the NFL, but its pretty up there worldwide, its noteworthy and they are making big things happen collectively for a lot of people......
Image: LouCity Ladies