The UK men’s soccer team hosts UofL tonight at 7:30 p.m. No tickets are available to the public, but you can watch the game on ESPN3. I’ll be at the game and providing updates on twitter @teeroyhowell. Both teams were ranked in the Top 25 preseason rankings.
The last time Kentucky hosted Louisville was in 2018 when the Cards came in ranked No. 6 in the country. UK won 3-0 in front of 1,827 fans. The Cats went all the way to the Elite Eight for one of their best seasons ever. The Cards won 3-0 at Louisville last season.
This year’s UofL team will be missing some players, though. Back in August, UofL announced that three soccer players had been kicked off the team for hosting an off- campus party that helped spread COVID-19. UofL suspended 3 more players. If Rick Pitino was still at Louisville, he would have known about the party and put a stop to it, right?!
This year’s Kentucky squad features First Team Preseason All-American Aime Mabika and Second Team All-American Kalil Elmedkhar. Mabika, a senior defender from Henry Clay, was named the Conference USA Player of the Year in 2019. The SEC does not have a men’s soccer conference, so UK plays in Conference USA. Mabika dominates the game on defense as a super-talented 6’6 central defender. He is so fun to watch and dangerous on the counter, often leading the break. Mabika is great at penalty kicks, something that is rarely seen from a defender.
Goal – Kentucky!
Aime Mabika calm, cool, collected to score his first career goal & give UK the lead on the stroke of halftime.
UK 1-0 UNM pic.twitter.com/ATHL3v2Vuy
— Kentucky Men’s Soccer (@UKMensSoccer) September 17, 2017
Elmedkhar, a senior midfielder from Delaware, has scored 18 goals and assisted on 20 more in his UK career. Check out this beautiful goal against Duke.
? Kalil ElMedkhar bends around the defense with a beautiful shot inside the far post in the 41st minute. pic.twitter.com/7HsRq8HBMU
— Kentucky Men’s Soccer (@UKMensSoccer) September 22, 2020
Goalie Enrique Facusse, a senior from Honduras, was a First Team preseason selection heading into last season.
Check out SIMA Alumnus Enrique Facusse who came up huge on a penalty last night for #3 Kentucky in their 3-0 victory at home against ETSU! Vamos Lá Familia!! pic.twitter.com/zFhhQGT3e7
— SIMA (@SIMA_MVAsoccer) September 27, 2018
Due to COVID, the NCAA soccer championships have been delayed from December to the spring, but Kentucky is one of a few teams that has already kicked off the season. The Wildcats are 1-1, having lost 1-0 to historical power Notre Dame, and having defeated Duke 4-2 in Lexington.
Starting the season with wins over Duke and Louisville would make Wildcat fans everywhere happy!