clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Ray Serrano finding joy with Louisville City

After making the USL Championship final last year, Serrano is targeting a trophy rather than runnerup in 2023.

Ray Serrano rushes past Nouhou
Jane Gershovich / Sounders FC Communications

TUKWILA — Close to two dozen friends and family gathered at the Seattle Sounders vs Louisville City preseason scrimmage. Wearing black, purple, purple hoops, and even a bit of Rave Green, the Serrano family regrouped for the return of Ray Serrano, now a regular right winger for the perennial USL Championship favorites.

“He had a tough time with Nouhou,” Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer said after the fist match of the day. “But everybody has a tough time with Nouhou. It’s good to see Ray. A lot of his family was out here so that’s a good story. That’s a good you know feel good people story.”

Serrano’s story is one that many former Academy and Tacoma Defiance players have had. After a year, or two, or five as professionals they leave home. Out in the global wilds of soccer they look for new challenges beyond just making the Sounders roster to new opportunities, including championships.

Last year, Serrano and Lou City finished second to San Antonio FC (which also had a few former Sounders and Defiance players). Ray started as the No. 10 in that match due to some injuries.

“It was amazing,” Ray told Sounder at Heart between the scrimmages, “being in the final is everything you could ask for. It didn’t go our way, but just to get there and playing a final for me at such a young age, just a big step in my career.”

Ray turns 21 in May. This will be his sixth professional season. He’s coming off two straight seasons as a primary starter. His ambitions go beyond just starting now.

“I have my personal goals on, obviously, a certain amount of goals, assists, I want to do for for the team. And, obviously, to lift a trophy again, and come out with the USL Championship.”

That’s always the expectation at Lou City. They have two trophies and six second-place finishes in the USL’s two major titles.

“I think it’s been pretty good playing on the right. Playing with Manny Perez, Oscar Jimenez I feel like we’ve found a connection down on the right. I think we’ve we’ve built that relationship all last year and I think it’s worked out pretty well last season.”

Louisville starts their season March 11th at Orange County and then a week later at Monterey Bay. No one will be surprised if some Serranos are again in the stands for those matches.

“It’s always good having their support. I mean, they drove a lot — from Moses Lake, Spokane, California — just to come out and see me. Their support means everything to me.”

Like at Starfire in Tukwila, Ray will bump back into old teammates during his travels in the USL Championship. They’ll reconnect as Sounders, as friends, as opponents.

“It’s good seeing them again. The result didn’t go our way but playing against them again and talking with them after the game was great for sure.”

From Perth to Trondheim, form Costa Rica to Calgary there are former Sounders scattered throughout pro soccer. They’re chasing trophies, career advancement and staying in touch with each other.

“I stay in touch with all of them. They’re my boys. At the end of the day, you know, I grew up playing with them so so yeah, we stay in touch all the time.”

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Sounder At Heart Weekly Roundup newsletter!

A twice weekly roundup of Seattle Sounders and OL Reign news from Sounder at Heart