Lexington FC was formed in 1998 as a result of a merger between the Kentucky Kickers Soccer Club and the LYSA Select Soccer Club. The two clubs merged to better meet the needs of the growing Lexington soccer community and to explore new field/facility opportunities in Fayette County.
The Kentucky Kickers got its start in 1974 with one adult team. They soon expanded to add youth teams in 1976 through the SAY soccer program in conjunction with the city of Lexington. Around 1980, the Lexington Youth Soccer Association was formed. It was agreed that LYSA would run the recreational soccer program for the city of Lexington, while the Kickers would offer select or travel soccer for the city’s youth. The Kickers formed only one team per age group.
LYSA entered an agreement with Lexington to use the city park system for their recreational programs. Fields all over town were used with a large number of fields at Shillito Park, Jacobsen Park, and others (Addison, Coolavin, Landsdown-Merrick, etc.) The Kickers used fields at what is now the Energy Center on Ironworks Pike. LYSA secured the use of the Berea road fields that are still used today.
As the popularity of soccer began to grow through the 1980s, LYSA felt that it was important to also offer a select option to players. There were too many players interested in competing at higher level for just one team per age group offered by he Kickers. In a few years, the two clubs became intense rivals.
In 1988, LYSA reached an agreement with the City of Lexington to develop a soccer complex at the new Masterson Station Park. They moved their recreational program to Masterson and used Berea Road as the select soccer base. Around the same time, the Kentucky Kickers secured the use of fields at the newly built Kentucky Horse Park.
LYSA Select used a red, white and blue color scheme and used patriotic names for their teams (Liberty, Patriots, Freedom, etc). The Kentucky Kickers wore red and black and named their teams after weather related phenomenon (Hurricane, Tornado, Levanter, Sirrocco, etc) The Kentucky Kickers hosted the first competitive soccer tournament in the area, the Bluegrass Invitational Tournament, which operated continuously from 1984 through 2012. The first LYSA sponsored tournament, the Lexington Invitational Tournament, was first held in 1997. Sadly, both tournaments are no longer hosted in Lexington. The Region 2 Challenge Cup, first held in March 2014 promises to offer teams great competition and a chance to enjoy all that Lexington has to offer as a tournament destination in the future.
By 1998, it was clear that a city of Lexington’s size could not sustain two excellent select soccer clubs. Higher level coaches necessary for success were harder to find. The city of Lexington was offering land for the development of a first class soccer facility and soccer stadium to be constructed along with a city amphitheater and golf facility at the Avon Army Depot complex out I-64 towards Winchester. Both LYSA Select and the Kickers felt that a merger was necessary to secure the use of these fields as well as to maximize the soccer potential of players in Lexington. Both clubs voted and the merger was complete.
When Lexington FC was formed, the basic structure and bylaws adopted were those of the Kickers but the colors of LYSA Select were chosen. The teams were to be named Premier, Classic, Legend, and United, with Premier being the top team in each age group. Lexington FC was added as a component of LYSA with a seat on the LYSA board.
Several years passed and no action was taken on the Avon complex. Homeowner opposition and 9/11 and the subsequent economic turn down put an end to the hopes for the Avon complex. Recently, a military facility has been opened on the site. Lexington FC continues to pursue field options with the city.
Lexington FC has grown to be one of the top soccer clubs in the region. With over 700 players on over 50 teams, our players play and compete at the highest levels including the highest levels of the MRL and even in the prestigious USYS National League. LFC’s coaching staff is the best in the state with numerous coaches with the highest possible licenses. Lexington FC (along with it’s two predecessors KY Kickers and LYSA Select) have produced nearly 400 collegiate players, several professional players, and a US National Team participant- Arin Gilliland. Our club is the home of 51 State Championships, 49 State Finalists, and 4 Midwest Regional Finalists.