MLS coming to St. Louis


Thao-Vi Do

The St. Louis City SC logo symbolizes the spirit of the Lou and it’s exciting to see.

The St. Louis sports world has had its fair share of hardships, like the St. Louis Rams football team leaving the city in 2016. In 2019, St. Louis made an addition to the city with a brand new Major League Soccer (MLS) team: St. Louis City Soccer Club. Even though the team doesn’t play its first game until 2023, the anticipation for this new team is high and fans are already gearing up with St. Louis City merchandise. 


The love for the game has been thriving in St. Louis for many years as the city holds a rich soccer history; some examples include five St. Louisans who made the U.S. Men’s World Cup team that defeated England in 1950, the St. Louis Stars were the last professional soccer club to play here and many international soccer games are held in St. Louis, but it has been 34 years since professional soccer has been played in St. Louis. Here’s Kirkwood’s take on why we should be excited about our brand new team.


What does bringing professional soccer back to St. Louis do for our community?

Lucas Ravenscraft (KHS social studies teacher): “[St. Louis City] is going to be great for the downtown area because the stadium is in line with the two other major sports stadiums. It will also be great to [fill] the hole the Rams left when they moved back to Los Angeles.”


Ryan Clutes (senior): “[St. Louis City] adds a sense of unity, [adding] another sports team that can go hand-in-hand with the Cardinals and the Blues in terms of impacting the community.”


Diego Guzman (senior): “If you look at all the communities that gather in St. Louis, like the Bosnians, each one has love for soccer, but have never been able to connect until now. With a professional club in the mix, the team will unite everyone.”


What do you think of club management so far?

LR: “I’ve been very impressed with how inclusive they’ve been. The [St. Louis  City SC] app they launched had both a Spanish and Bosnian version, which is really cool since St. Louis has large Spanish and Bosnian speaking communities. Club management having the ability to expand its reach out to those communities is huge.”


RC: “[Management] has promoted the club very strongly on social media and their marketing strategy has really impressed me. They’ve been able to pump out merchandise, sneak peeks and it’s generated a lot of hype.”


DG: “They’ve done a great job of informing the public about opportunities to get involved with the club, whether it be tryouts for their youth team or simply getting merchandise. They want to make us fans happy.”  


What makes St. Louis stand out as a sports city?

LR: “For a city like St. Louis, where a good portion of the entertainment revolves around sports, we as a city will put more time and investment into that team compared to other cities like Los Angeles, where your entertainment money could be used for other things besides sports.”


RC: “If you look at how strong the fan bases are for the Cardinals and the Blues right now, I know we can carry that energy over to St. Louis City SC.”


DG: “It may not be as popular as a city like Chicago or New York, but here you feel like you know everybody. If you meet someone from St. Louis, you aren’t asking them what college they went to, you are asking them what high school they went to. That connection [St. Louisans have] have can rub off on the club.” 


How do you think the club will perform compared to past clubs? 

LR: “We are going to be bad our first few years, since the financial structure of MLS makes it hard for expansion teams to be good right away. I do have high hopes for our development systems as they’ve produced world-class players so you have to hope those guys pan out.”


RC: “The hype that has gone into this team is real and even if we aren’t good immediately, I’m still excited to go to some games and enjoy some fan merchandise.”


DG: “They probably won’t start off as well as other teams since we are a new club with new management and coaching but potential is there for us to be good down the line. We just have to wait.”