On Thursday night, Racing Louisville celebrated the start of the regular season with a new mint away kit. The reveal took place at Noble Funk Brewery in Louisville. Keeper Katie Lund announced the kits while players including Gemma Bonner, Freja Olofsson, and Jess McDonald walked the lavender carpet in front of a couple hundred cheering fans. Chants of “We Love You Racing, Oh Yes We Do” broke out before the players mingled with fans and signed autographs.
“It was super cool,” said a grinning Emina Ekic after the event. “I’ve never been a part of something like that, so it was nice to have everyone come out, hang out, and be with the fans. When you guys cheered when we walked out, it was really cool. It was special.”
The new kit is built around mint green, which is Racing’s secondary color after lavender. Although NWSL regulations force teams to have white-dominated tops for one of their kits, Racing highlight this white background with a mint collar, side strip, and a pattern of fleur de lis in the same pattern as Racing’s crest down the front of the shirt. The kit is completed with mint shorts and white socks. Lavender flourishes are included in the form of a lily flower on the bottom left corner of the kit and embroidered Nike logos on the right breast and left leg.
𝘐𝘵'𝘴 𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘧𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘩.
— Racing Louisville FC (@RacingLouFC) April 28, 2022
The kits were designed by a team including Racing graphic designer Rachel Regenauer and board member Chris Harding.
“We always knew we wanted this kit to be mint, so the design process started with the color,” said Regenauer. “The fans love mint. We love mint. It was ‘mint’ to be.”
Not only is mint synonymous with the famous cocktail of the Kentucky Derby – the mint julep – mint suggests a fresh start. And with the regular season starting on Saturday, a fresh start is exactly what players are ready for.
Fresh Starts, New Confidence
After the kit reveal, Emina Ekic told the press that with the new coach and so many new teammates, the new season is like “restarting from last year with just a little bit more.”
Racing ended the 2022 Challenge Cup with a 1-2-3 record. Compared to six games in this time last year, Racing, interestingly, also had a 1-2-3 record across all competition. Even so, players insist they feel significantly better than they did last year. Emina Ekic said that she believes “100%” that Racing is in a better place now. When asked if she felt confident going into regular season play, her response was immediate. “I do. I’m super excited about it.”
“The energy is great,” she said regarding the general team vibe. “Everyone is always super pumped up. We get along well. We play for each other and we’re always learning. Hyping each other up and competing, so the vibe is good all around.”
“The confidence is there in the locker room…We’ve shown we have what it takes,” she continued. She said she’s pleased with the goals they’ve been scoring and now it’s about cleaning up the little things. “We believe in ourselves and that makes everything come together.”
“We realize now the season starts and the results start coming thick and fast,” said Gemma Bonner on the team’s outlook heading into Saturday’s match. Racing will start the regular season on the road against the Red Stars in Chicago. After already playing Chicago twice in the Challenge Cup, they’ve become a familiar foe. Although Racing was frustrated not to earn all three points in their last meeting, she said she’s happy Racing played well enough to not be satisfied with a win.
“We’ve probably had a few harsh lessons throughout the games,” said Bonner of the recently completed Challenge Cup tournament. Still, she contends that the signs of growth are everywhere. In particular, she points to how successfully the team has been pressing, how they’ve been creating chances, and how they’ve come together defensively as places she’s seen progress.
“We’re definitely excited to get the season underway,” concluded Bonner. “It’s been a long time coming and we’ll be ready on Saturday.”