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Racing Louisville hires Kim Björkegren as head coach

(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

Racing Louisville has tabbed Kim Björkegren to be the club’s next head coach, the club announced on Thursday.

Björkegren is in his 15th year of coaching, most recently leading Cyprus’ Apollon Ladies FC to an undefeated season and advancing to the second round of the Champion’s League.

“We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Kim and his family to Racing Louisville,” said James O’Connor, the club’s executive vice president of development, in a release. “We performed an exhaustive search looking for someone who has a history of winning and developing players.

“Kim stood out on both counts as the outstanding candidate. He made an instant impact on the group of players who we involved in the process, and we can’t wait to introduce him to the entire Racing family.”

According to a team release, the final round of the process included interviews that involved Racing Louisville players. The hiring was then approved “after extensive background checks by the NWSL.”

Previously, the club had been coached by Christy Holly who was terminated “for cause” in early September. It was never indicated what that meant. Mario Sanchez took over in the interim but ultimately was not tabbed to take over permanently.

The 39-year-old coach has extensive Champion’s League experience. In addition to his time with Apollon Ladies FC, Björkegren coached Linköpings FC to a league title and the Champions League quarterfinal where the team fell to Manchester City. He then coached Beijing BG Phoenix in 2018 before making his way to Cyprus.

“I’m super excited about joining Racing Louisville FC,” Björkegren said. “I have had great talks with the ownership and James O’Connor over the past months and feel like the entire club is breathing optimism. I’m looking forward to working with the entire organization toward our common goals.”

Björkegren also has personal connections to Louisville, having coached Danish star forward Nadia Nadim before she made the move to the NWSL.

“Kim is a great coach — very smart, tactical, reads and understands the game quickly and has the character to make tough decisions,” Nadim said. “I’m looking forward to working with him to grow as a team and as a player.”