How to return St. Louis soccer to its former glory


Photo rendering courtesy of HOK

Voters will decide whether or not taxpayers will contribute $60 million to help fund the building of a new Stadium. Voting will take place on April 4.

Nick Einig, Staff Writer

Soccer in St. Louis is not what it once was. Decades ago, the city produced great players that would go on to do big things, and the sport itself had a huge following. On April 4, voters will decide whether or not taxpayers will contribute $60 million to build a stadium downtown. St. Louisans are gearing up to reassert their city as a soccer hub, and they can start doing so by going out to support St. Louis FC, a team with a vibrant soccer spirit that has been around for a while.

St. Louis FC is a tier two soccer team that plays at World Wide Technology Soccer Park in Fenton, MO for their home games. The team does a great job at including both national and homegrown players on their rosters. With Predrag Radosavljevic or “Preki” as the head coach, the team has a very good chance of doing well this season. So, it is the perfect time for many soccer fans to reignite their passions and the St. Louis soccer tradition.

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Preki was a 2000 MLS champion. In 2007 he was the MLS Coach of the Year and in 2014 he took home a USL Championship with the Sacramento Republic. Preki has coached at the MLS Soccer level for Chivas USA and Toronto FC for three full seasons. Put simply, he is the real deal.

With ticket prices ranging from $16 to $23, and the home games being nearby, there is no reason not to go out and support St. Louis FC. MLS will award two cities with teams this year. The announcement will likely come out later this summer. Having both a loyal fan base and a new stadium to house a team will make St. Louis ever more likely to be a recipient. Anyone hoping to see the day that St. Louis is considered a soccer city again needs to be going out and supporting St. Louis FC at games. That will help send the message that the city has a following to support a high-level team.

And just because St. Louis FC is not an MLS team does not mean that its players cannot play like the professionals on higher tier teams. It is still professional soccer. The players can control the ball and curve it wherever they want to. They have the skill that people see when they watch the pro soccer teams on TV. Some may not even know the difference.

St. Louis FC already has a loyal fan base. Thanks to groups like the St. Louligans, the soccer spirit is still alive in St. Louis. The city is ready to expand that spirit. Anyone that is ready to help do so can start by joining the loud and exciting crowds that St. Louis FC has to offer, beginning with their home opener April 1 against the Ottawa Fury FC. A little buy in like that now can have a huge payout in the future.