Louisville City 2022 Academy Signings
Defender Sebastian Sanchez and forward Hunter Sekelsky were announced as singings today to USL Academy contracts. Both Sanchez and Sekelsky were in the group of seven that had received academy contacts in 2021. Josh Wynder, Carlos Moguel, and Owen Damm were also part of that group and went on to sign full professional deals.
“This is another very important day here at Louisville City FC,” said Coach Danny Cruz. “When we look at the job our academy staff is doing with young players, it is no surprise that they come in to our environment prepared and ready to compete. With continued focus, hard work, and a willingness to learn, we know that players have taken the step from an academy contract to a professional first-team contract. There is no doubt in my mind that we will continue to provide young players a pathway to be on the field with our first team.”
Sanchez, the son of LouCity Academy Director Mario Sanchez, is a Ballard High School senior and 2021 All-State selection who’s committed to play collegiately at NCAA Division 1’s DePaul University. He frequently featured in the club’s preseason games, including a 90-minute shift in a win over the USL Championship’s El Paso Locomotive FC.
Last year, Sanchez played regularly for LouCity’s USL Academy League squad that went 6-3-1 and boasted a +20 goal differential. He was also invited to play in the Elite Clubs National League Regional All-Star Game.
“I’m thankful for the opportunity that LouCity has given me to further grow as a player,” Sanchez said. “I can’t wait to continue helping out the team as they begin their season.”
“We are very excited to add Sebastian to the group this season,” Cruz added. “He is a young defender who comes to training every day looking to improve and progress. He has had an impressive preseason with us this year and has contributed in every preseason game. When I look at his growth over the past two and a half years, I come away very impressed with where he is today. We are looking forward to him taking this step in his development and are excited to see him contribute to the first team this season.”
Sekelsky, a University of Louisville freshman, graduated from the Louisville Collegiate School, where he was recognized as a 2020 High School All-American and First Team All-State selection and was part of the same academy team as Sanchez.
“I want to thank Coach Cruz and the rest of the LouCity staff and team for believing in me and giving me this opportunity,” Sekelsky said. “I’m excited for this step, but there’s still more work to do.”
“Throughout camp, Hunter has come into training and games with a tremendous work ethic and that right mentality,” Cruz added. “He is another one of our academy kids that we have been tracking closely. When he got his opportunity this preseason with the first team, he absolutely took it. He is a strong, quick, attacker that does an excellent job applying pressure to the opponent and creating opportunities out of nothing.”
Getting younger has been a running theme of this offseason’s roster construction. This immersion of young talent into the roster not only will help with the future roster turnover but will also give more young local talent a tangible goal to shoot for. Four players on LouCitys professional roster have all come through the academy along with the addition of Sanchez and Sekelsky via academy deals. The pathway to the pros is as achievable as it has ever been. While minutes may be hard to come by, the ability to regularly train with the first team is a fantastic growth opportunity. Congratulations, Sebastian and Hunter!
Want to do a little more reading on LouCity? Might I suggest The Tifos of Louisville City, Louisville City’s Pathway To The Pros, Louisville City's Preparations For The Future, What Are Expected Goals (xG)?, or What Are Goals Added (G+)?.
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