Photo Credit: EM Dash Photography
The communication and cohesiveness of a back line are vastly important to the overall success of a soccer club. Louisville City FC’s Paco Craig understands how important good harmony like that is, on and off the pitch. The son of Culture Club’s bass player is ready to get his band back to the promised land in 2018.
2017 was a landmark year for LouCity and their star center back. The club took home the USL Cup and Craig was named an All-USL performer. But, the individual honor was not something he was aiming for throughout the season. “To tell you the truth, it didn’t really come into my mind at any point in the season until the end when it was finally released,” Paco explains. “I’m extremely happy and pleased with everything, but I was a bit more struck that not more of us were given a bit more recognition as I was the only one honored out of our squad. It kind of made it feel unfair. Of course, I was extremely happy, but that was the result of the whole team’s efforts and that trumps everything else.”
That team-first mentality for him was likely cultivated during his years playing multiple sports, including rugby. He says, “I did as much as I could, every sport that was available to me in school. Rugby was just one of them and I tried to compete in many different events in track and field, tennis, volleyball and basketball even. It contributed to my overall athleticism and coordination and I tried to play them all as long as possible to help me be an all-around great athlete with coordination, muscle memory, etc.”
While he played other sports, soccer always had a special place in the Craig family back in England. “My favorite (soccer player) growing up was John Terry because I’m a Chelsea fan, but then it switched over to Vincent Kompany after he had that amazing year with ManCity,” the 25-year-old recalls. “Since then, I’ve just learned to love football as a whole, really. My dad grew up in West London and all of his family is there, so I copied my dad basically!”
Soccer is not the only thing he picked up from his father. Mikey Craig, the bass player for England’s iconic 80’s band Culture Club, passed along his love of music to his son. “I still play drums. I’m actually still trying to find people to play with,” says the younger Craig. “I think playing music is one of the most fun things I’ll ever experience, so I’ll try and play drums for as long as I can.” Paco’s had the chance to interact with his dad’s famous band mate as well. “Yeah, I’ve met Boy George a few times and quite recently too, since they’re kind of working a bit more now than when I was younger. He’s a charming and very disarming guy. He definitely knows how to work the spotlight as a person.,” he says.
Paco and his Louisville City teammates have handled the spotlight well themselves, currently sitting second place in the Eastern Conference. While second place is nice at this stage of the year, he knows the club has the ability to get back to defend their USL Cup. ““Since we’ve been able to accomplish it once before, we know what’s required of us and we know this year is only going to be harder, Craig outlines. “So basically, it’s about stepping everything up another level and making sure everything is that much more professional with the understanding that we are the champions and everyone is going to be coming at us like it’s a cup final. Knowing that the task is going to be that much harder than last year, it’s up to us to rise up to it and that will lead to our success.”
The talented son of a gifted bass player understands it takes the whole group to make a hit. Paco Craig and Louisville City FC are looking to be the USL’s chart topper for the second straight year, because these opportunities come and go…they come and go.