From club release:
NASHVILLE (January 4, 2018) – Nashville Soccer Club will renew its rivalry against two-time defending USL Cup champions Louisville City FC earlier than expected in 2019. While the matchup isn’t on the USL Championship regular season schedule until August, the teams will meet in the preseason at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. on February 9 at 2:00 p.m. CT.
Nashville and Louisville met four times last season, three in regular season play, and in the fourth round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The teams split the regular season matchups, as each won once and the sides played to a draw once. In the Open Cup, Louisville beat Nashville to advance in the domestic tournament.
The preseason contest will also serve as Nashville SC forward Cameron Lancaster’s first game against his former club. Lancaster spent the last four seasons at Louisville City, leading them to back-to-back USL Championship titles in 2017 and 2018 before becoming the second signing with Nashville MLS. Lancaster has been loaned to Nashville SC until Nashville MLS begins play.
IMG Academy is a popular destination for many USL and MLS teams during preseason training camp, and Nashville SC will be making its second trip there in as many years. Last season, Nashville SC played twice at IMG, picking up draws against the Chicago Fire (0-0) and Ottawa Fury (1-1). In addition to the Louisville City game, Nashville will play the Montréal Impact on Feb. 6, although that game will be held at the Premier Sports Campus in Lakeland, Fla.
More analysis later. It’s cool to play the best (especially with Nashville wanting an early measuring stick), and an opportunity for Lancaster to get acclimated to his new team while playing against his old one.