A local nonprofit is kicking off the next phase of its civic engagement project Thursday with a five-a-side soccer tournament that will include professional local players.
The tournament will run from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday and Friday and from noon to 10 p.m. Saturday at the ReSurfaced: The Liberty Build site, 319 Shelby St.
Louisville City FC, the local United Soccer League club, will send players, including starters Kyle Smith and Tarek Morad — but the tournament will be mostly light and fun, as the professionals will play together with LouCity FC front office staff. One of the team’s fan clubs, the Louisville Coopers, also will participate, and the mayor’s office may field a team as well.
Through ReSurfaced, the nonprofit City Collaborative tries to turn dormant city locations into community centers where people get together for anything from athletic activities to dance battles and fashion shows.
At Shelby Street, on a city-owned property, volunteers have put together a $25,000 90-by-60-foot artificial turf soccer field, paid by sponsors including Brown-Forman Corp., UofL’s Urban Design Studio and digital design firm Forest Giant.
On Wednesday afternoon, workers were putting final touches on some of the site’s infrastructure, including one of the soccer field’s goals. Nearby, tables and chairs awaited their first guests.
Dave Durand, president of Forest Giant and co-founder and president of City Collaborative, said the organization will work with local organizations to get children and adults involved in soccer tournaments in the next 18-or-so months.
He said the smaller field will make the game faster and increase the scoring, making the game more accessible to a greater portion of the community. ReSurfaced is still signing up teams for the tournament.
Louisville City FC President Amanda Duffy said that she hopes the site and this week’s tournament will introduce new groups and fans to the game of soccer.
The club also will have players available to sign autographs and pose for photos.
The kickoff event also will include food and beverages. Brown-Forman will introduce people to its Coopers’ Craft bourbon.
Beginning at 7 p.m. Saturday, Louisville Rescue Mission, a nonprofit that helps the homeless, will host its annual benefit at the site with food, a silent auction and live music.
Durand said that in the next few months, community organizations will be able to host other events at the site, but the field also will be available for community members to play just for fun.