Every once in a while I forget we have newer members and that sometimes they don’t know what the hell we’re talking about. The King’s Cup may be one of those things that you hear some of us old Louligans talk about but aren’t sure exactly what it is. Well, I’m here to help. The King’s Cup is a rivalry created by the Coopers (one of the supporters groups of Louisville FC) and the St. Louligans. While we did sort of create it out of nothing, it was actually started by the fans. A big difference from the shiny plastic rivalries created by front offices. Before the 2015 season both LCFC and STLFC fans were vocal on social media and we were both expansion teams that would be playing each other 4 times. In addition to that our cities were actually close enough that we could muster decent traveling support. We took 80+ fans on both of our trips to Louisville last year and they brought similar numbers here for both their visits. And, even though we did enjoy our twitter spats, for the most part we had a respect for each other and the environments we were creating in our home parks. (Even though they play on a baseball field.)
Louisville had a better season on the pitch than STLFC in almost every measurable facet in 2015, but the Rivalry actually lived up to the hype we gave it. The league loved it, the front offices loved it, the players loved it and most importantly the fans loved it. At the end of our 4 game series the point totals were even and it went to a tiebreaker of goal difference to give the Coopers the very first King’s Cup trophy. (Yes, it hurts but we’ll survive.) In addition to memorable matches and road trips we also had a lot of fun tailgating. We made some friends and some enemies, but more or less I think it was a great success. BUT… it also led to the great charity fundraiser #PizzaGate (long story) in which both groups raised a combined total of over $15,000 worth of meals for each city’s respective food banks. That was a bonus that I think both sides can and should take great pride in. And all of this was created by the fans. Not by the league, not by the teams. The Fans. That’s what makes this rivalry real.
Fast forward to 2016. STLFC moved to the western conference of USL and LCFC stayed in the east. We only get a chance to play each other twice this season, but we’re keeping the rivalry going. This weekend around 50 Louligans will make the trip to Slugger field to cheer on our boys. I’m sure the Purple family of Coopers, Heretics, Derby City Ultras, Teletubbies, Cornbread Ultras, Superheroes, Villians, Little Rascals, Goonies, Stooges, Coalition of like-minded fools, the Hive, Night’s Watch, Pond Scum, Purple People Eaters, Fantasy Factory, Bronies, Magic Schoolbus Drivers, Former Power Rangers, etc. will bring their party here when Louisville City visits St. Louis. One thing is certain. Fun will be had.
For those that are into Rules, here are the official rules of the King’s Cup:
The team with the most points from regular season matches between the two wins the Cup. Goal difference will serve as the first tiebreaker if the teams are tied on points, and away goals will be the second tiebreaker. If the teams are still tied after that, then the holder from the prior season keeps the Cup.
So, as you watch this season unfold, hold a special place in your heart for the fixtures vs. Louisville City. Maybe more so than any other match, we want to beat THEM.