St. Louis City SC

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St. Louis City SC
Full nameSt. Louis City Soccer Club[1]
FoundedAugust 20, 2019; 4 years ago (2019-08-20)
StadiumCityPark
St. Louis, Missouri
Capacity22,423
OwnersCarolyn Kindle
Jo Ann Taylor Kindle
Jim Kavanaugh
ChairmanCarolyn Kindle
Sporting directorLutz Pfannenstiel
CoachBradley Carnell
LeagueMajor League Soccer
2023Western Conference: 1st
Overall: 4th
Playoffs: Round One
WebsiteClub website
Current season

St. Louis City SC (stylized as St. Louis CITY SC) is an American professional men's soccer club based in St. Louis, Missouri. City SC competes in Major League Soccer (MLS) as a member of the Western Conference and joined in 2023 as an expansion team. The club was established in 2019 and plays its home matches at CityPark, a new soccer-specific stadium next to Union Station in Downtown West St. Louis.[2][3]

History[edit]

Previous attempts[edit]

Soccer has had an established history at both the professional and amateur levels in Greater St. Louis for more than a century.[4] In 2007, St. Louis was considered a possible destination for Real Salt Lake after the club founder announced he would sell the club if a new stadium was not built. From 2008 to 2009, St. Louis lawyer Jeff Cooper led a group of would-be owners who attempted to bring an MLS expansion team to Greater St. Louis, only to have the bids turned down in favor of other cities.[5] Despite approved plans to build the $600 million Collinsville Soccer Complex, MLS was unimpressed with the bid's financial backing and suggested Cooper expand his group of investors.[6][7] Cooper instead launched a second division men's club and a Women's Professional Soccer franchise. AC St. Louis played only one season in Division 2 before folding in 2011; the Saint Louis Athletica folded midway through its second season in 2010.[8]

In late 2014, the city announced plans for a new stadium to host both American football and soccer.[9] MLS Commissioner Don Garber said in January 2015, "St. Louis has got a lot of activity going on with a stadium that they’re trying to get done for the NFL's Rams. There's a big soccer community out there and we'd love to see a soccer stadium downtown like they're thinking about a football stadium."[10] In May 2015, Garber visited St. Louis to talk about a possible new multi-purpose stadium that could host soccer games. Garber cautioned that any possible expansion to St. Louis would occur after 2020.[11] On January 12, 2016, the Rams moved to Los Angeles after playing in St. Louis for 21 seasons. The Rams' move initially accelerated the talks of an MLS expansion team.[12]

In 2017, MLS began to consider adding a team in St. Louis, beginning in 2020.[13] The proposed ownership group sought public funds to help build a $200 million soccer-specific stadium next to Union Station in downtown St. Louis. On January 26, 2017, a funding plan was approved by the city's Aldermanic Ways and Means Committee, and later by the entire Board of Aldermen, that would have directed $60 million in city tax revenue to the new stadium. Voters rejected the plan in an April 4, 2017, referendum, leaving the city's MLS future in doubt.[14][15]

2018–2019: Expansion bid[edit]

In September 2018, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on a meeting between officials with the Missouri Department of Economic Development and MLS representatives regarding a stadium proposal; St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson later confirmed that a new group was trying to bring a team to St. Louis.[16] St. Louis's MLS bid was effectively re-launched on October 9 of that year, with Carolyn Kindle and other heirs to the Enterprise Rent-A-Car fortune as the primary investors. The stadium location remained the same as in the original 2016 location, near Union Station.[17] This bid did not seek public funding through taxes or from the city, so the public did not get to vote on the stadium.[18] On November 28, 2018, the Board of Aldermen's Housing, Urban Development, and Zoning Committee voted 8–0 to approve the stadium plan.[19]

On April 18, 2019, the MLS announced plans to expand to 30 teams, up from the previous plan of 28. The league, currently at 27 teams, advised the Commissioner's office to advance the discussions with the Sacramento Republic and St. Louis bids. Both bids were asked to make presentations to the MLS Expansion Committee to "address each bid's final stadium plan, corporate commitments, the composition of the respective ownership groups, detailed economics on funding, strategic plans for fan development, commitments on player development and details on community programs."[20][21]

On April 20, 2019, two days after MLS announced it would advance discussions with the Sacramento and St. Louis bids, the St. Louis group released renderings and more information about their proposed stadium. The 22,423-seat stadium's design was produced by a collaboration between HOK and Snow Kreilich Architects. The group also promised that every seat would be within 120 feet of the field and that a canopy would cover the stadium.[22]

On August 20, 2019, MLS announced it had approved St. Louis as the league's 28th franchise, with play expected to begin in the 2022 season.[23] The ownership group consists of Enterprise Holdings Foundation president Carolyn Kindle Betz and female members of the Taylor family, and is the first female majority-owned team in MLS.[24] In the announcement, Don Garber said, "St. Louis is a city with a rich soccer tradition, and it is a market we have considered since the league's inception. Our league becomes stronger today with the addition of the city's deeply dedicated soccer fans, and the committed and innovative local ownership group led by Carolyn Kindle Betz, the Taylor family, and Jim Kavanaugh."[25]

2019–present[edit]

On October 19, 2019, the ownership group released new plans for the planned soccer-specific stadium. The area was extended to encompass a 31-acre (13 ha) plan and would likely exceed the original $200 million cost estimate. The ownership group agreed to purchase and own the land along with the stadium and will not seek tax revenue or public financing.[26]

On December 17, 2019, the state of Missouri informed the ownership group that the $30 million previously promised by the state will no longer be provided.[27] However, on March 18, 2020, the Missouri Development Finance Board unanimously approved a package of incentives worth $5.7 million in tax credits to help with construction of the $458 million stadium and surrounding area.[28]

On March 25, 2020, the ownership group released a statement regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Site preparation for the stadium will continue as planned. Site preparation includes clearing all land where the stadium will sit and demolishing the old on and off ramps located on the site.[29]

On August 17, 2020, former Fortuna Düsseldorf managing director of sports Lutz Pfannenstiel was introduced as sporting director of St. Louis City SC and began building the club from the ground up.[30]

Former South African International and New York Red Bulls assistant coach Bradley Carnell was named as the team's first head coach on January 5, 2022.[31]

On February 25, 2023, St. Louis City SC played in their first match in Major League Soccer, winning by a score of 3–2, against Austin FC at Q2 Stadium in Austin, Texas.[32]

On March 4, 2023, St. Louis City SC played their first home game in Major League Soccer, winning by a score of 3–1 against Charlotte FC in front of a sold-out crowd at CityPark in St. Louis, Missouri.[33]

On March 18, 2023, St. Louis City SC became the first MLS team to win their first four games as an expansion team after beating the San Jose Earthquakes 3–0. This was the first clean sheet in St. Louis City SC history.[34]

On March 25, 2023, St. Louis City SC became the first team to win their first five games after beating Real Salt Lake 4–0 away. They also set a new record as the 3rd team to have 15 points in its first five games, joining the Los Angeles Galaxy in 1996 and Sporting Kansas City in 2012.[35]

On April 1, 2023, St. Louis City SC lost their first game in their history against Minnesota United with the score 0–1 in Citypark.

On April 16, 2023, St. Louis City SC defeated FC Cincinnati by a score of 5–1.[36] Cincinnati had the most points in MLS at the time with a record of 5–0–2 .With this win, St. Louis City SC became the most successful MLS Expansion team in their first eight games with 18 points.[37]

On September 30, 2023, St. Louis City SC broke the record for most wins by an MLS expansion club, defeating Sporting Kansas City 4-1 and reaching 17 wins. [38]

On October 1, 2023, St. Louis City SC won the Western Conference in their first year as a franchise and would also qualify for the 2024 CONCACAF Champions Cup.

On November 5, 2023, St. Louis was eliminated from the MLS Cup Playoffs after being swept by Sporting Kansas City in the first round best-of-three series. Sporting won the first game 4-1 in St. Louis and the home leg 2-1 in Kansas City.

Colors, badge, and sponsorship[edit]

The crest features the iconic Gateway Arch, and the two curved lines symbolize the confluence of North America's two longest rivers, the Mississippi River and the Missouri River, which is located just a few miles north of Downtown St. Louis. Officially, the team's colors are city red, river blue, energy yellow, arch steel gray, and white.[1][39] The shade of red can easily been mistaken as a shade of magenta or pink depending on the lighting.

Sponsorship[edit]

Period Kit Manufacturer Shirt Sponsor Sleeve Sponsor
2023–present Adidas Purina BJC HealthCare

On March 31, 2021, Purina, a pet food maker founded and based in St. Louis, became the club's first jersey sponsor and founding partner.[40] On July 14, 2021, Together Credit Union, a local credit union, became the club's second founding partner and the official banking partner.[41]

Stadium[edit]

Citypark

The team plays in CityPark in downtown St. Louis that is the anchor of a 31-acre (13 ha) development area that includes team offices, training facilities, and commercial districts.[42][43] The stadium is intended to field 17 to 23 soccer games a year and serve as a venue for concerts, high school sports, and more.[44] The design of the stadium is intended to connect the surrounding area and the downtown area together while blending with the neighborhood.[45]

Ownership and management[edit]

The St. Louis City SC ownership group consists of Enterprise Holdings Foundation president Carolyn Kindle and female members of the Taylor family (Enterprise Holdings), and is the first female majority-owned team in MLS. The group also includes CEO of World Wide Technology, Jim Kavanaugh and members of the Kavanaugh family.[46]

Club culture[edit]

The primary supporters' section at CityPark.

Supporters[edit]

The most prominent soccer supporters' group in the St. Louis area is the St. Louligans. Their name references football hooliganism, the disruptive and disorderly behavior of soccer fans, though this type of phenomenon is not generally found among soccer fans in North America. The St. Louligans were founded in 2010 when several local soccer fan groups joined forces at AC St. Louis home games. They have provided strong support for a number of St. Louis area soccer teams, including AC St. Louis, Saint Louis Athletica, St. Louis Lions, and Illinois Piasa.[47]

St. Louligans was the official supporters group for Saint Louis FC, a USL Championship side founded in 2014. Saint Louis FC worked closely with the St. Louligans to encourage their support. Notable contributions of the group include awarding a new fan each week with a ticket, and coordinating with the Coopers, supporters for Louisville City FC, to create the Kings' Cup rivalry competition between the two teams.[48][49] Saint Louis FC folded in 2020.

Many new independent supporters' groups were organized in anticipation of the MLS squad's arrival, supporting City 2 throughout their 2022 campaign.[50] These groups include Saint Louis CITY Punks,[51][52] sporting denim vests and Punk rock vibes, as well as the No Nap City Ultras,[53] a supporters' group of parents and their young children, and STL Santos, a supporters’ group for Spanish speakers. 2022 also saw the arrival of a new drum corps and supporters' group, the Fleur de Noise,[54][55] who will take up the role of drumming and leading chants for the supporters.

The new stadium contains a supporters' section with space for more than 3,000 standing spectators, three capo stands, a 257-foot (78 m) long integrated tifo rigging system, a drum riser for drum corps during matches, and a dedicated supporters bar.[56]

Rivalries[edit]

The Chicago Fire have emerged as a regional rival for St. Louis City SC, mirroring the 160-year rivalry between the two Midwestern cities. For their first encounters in 2023, the two teams met twice in the space of a week, and Chicago won both matches despite their visitors sending large numbers of traveling supporters.[57][58]

St. Louis City has also developed an early rivalry with Sporting Kansas City.[59][60][61] St. Louis City SC won the first match between the two clubs on May 20 at CityPark.[62] The two teams played in their first postseason matchup in the 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs,[63] with Sporting Kansas City (the #8 seed) upsetting the #1 seeded St. Louis in a best-of-three series.[64]

Players and staff[edit]

Roster[edit]

As of November 4, 2023[65][66]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK Switzerland SUI Roman Bürki (captain)
2 DF United States USA Jake Nerwinski
4 DF Sweden SWE Joakim Nilsson
6 MF South Africa RSA Njabulo Blom
7 MF Czech Republic CZE Tomáš Ostrák
8 MF United States USA Jared Stroud
9 FW Brazil BRA João Klauss
10 MF Germany GER Eduard Löwen
11 FW United States USA Nicholas Gioacchini
12 MF Brazil BRA Célio Pompeu
13 DF United States USA Anthony Markanich
14 DF United States USA John Nelson
15 DF Ghana GHA Joshua Yaro
16 FW United States USA Samuel Adeniran
18 MF United States USA Owen O'Malley
No. Pos. Nation Player
19 MF United States USA Indiana Vassilev
20 DF United States USA Akil Watts
21 MF Sweden SWE Rasmus Alm
22 DF Canada CAN Kyle Hiebert
23 DF Jamaica JAM Jon Bell
24 DF United States USA Lucas Bartlett
25 MF United States USA Aziel Jackson
26 DF United States USA Tim Parker
28 MF United States USA Miguel Perez
29 FW Iceland ISL Nökkvi Þeyr Þórisson
31 GK United States USA Michael Creek
39 GK Germany GER Ben Lundt
41 MF United States USA John Klein
44 MF Germany GER Max Schneider
46 FW United States USA Caden Glover
MF United States USA Tyson Pearce

Out on loan[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
17 DF Bosnia and Herzegovina BIH Selmir Pidro (on loan to Zlín)
30 MF Denmark DEN Isak Jensen (on loan to Viborg)

Technical staff[edit]

As of January 9, 2023[67]
Role Name Nationality
Sporting director Lutz Pfannenstiel  Germany
Director of coaching John Hackworth  United States
Head of sport science Kelly Roderick  United States
Director of sports performance Jarryd Phillips  South Africa
Head coach Bradley Carnell  South Africa
Assistant coach John Miglarese  United States
Assistant coach Elvir Kafedžić  Bosnia and Herzegovina
Goalkeeper coach Alexander Langer  Germany
St. Louis City 2 coach Bobby Murphy  United States

Executive staff[edit]

As of July 17, 2021[68]
Role Name Nationality
Majority owner & CEO Carolyn Kindle  United States

Captains[edit]

Name Nationality Years
Roman Bürki   Switzerland 2023–present

Team record[edit]

Year-by-year[edit]

Season League Position Playoffs USOC Continental / Other Average
attendance
Top goalscorer(s)
Pld W L D GF GA GD Pts PPG Conf. Overall Name(s) Goals
2023 34 17 12 5 62 45 +17 56 1.65 1st 4th Rnd 1 Round of 32 LC Group Stage 22,423 United States Nicholas Gioacchini
Brazil João Klauss
10

Player records[edit]

Current players on the St. Louis roster are shown in bold.

As of November 6, 2023[69]

Most appearances[edit]

Rank Name Nat. Period MLS Playoffs Open Cup Leag. Cup Total
1 Indiana Vassilev United States 2023– 34 2 2 2 40
2 Nicholas Gioacchini United States 2023– 32 2 1 2 37
Jared Stroud United States 2023– 31 2 2 2 37
4 Roman Bürki Switzerland 2023– 33 2 0 1 36
5 Eduard Löwen Germany 2023– 29 2 2 2 35
Tomáš Ostrák Czech Republic 2023– 30 1 2 2 35
7 Tim Parker United States 2023– 29 2 1 1 33
8 Jake Nerwinski United States 2023– 29 1 0 2 32
Célio Pompeu Brazil 2023– 26 2 2 2 32
10 Kyle Hiebert Canada 2023– 27 2 1 1 31
Aziel Jackson United States 2023– 25 2 2 2 31

Top goalscorers[edit]

Rank Name Nat. Period MLS Playoffs Open Cup Leag. Cup Total (Apps) Ratio
1 João Klauss Brazil 2023– 10 0 0 0 10 (21) 0.48
Nicholas Gioacchini United States 2023– 10 0 0 0 10 (37) 0.27
3 Samuel Adeniran United States 2023– 8 0 0 0 08 (22) 0.36
4 Eduard Löwen Germany 2023– 6 0 1 0 07 (35) 0.20
5 Tim Parker United States 2023– 4 1 0 0 05 (33) 0.15
Jared Stroud United States 2023– 5 0 0 0 05 (37) 0.14
7 Rasmus Alm Sweden 2023– 3 0 0 0 03 (23) 0.13
Aziel Jackson United States 2023– 1 0 2 0 03 (31) 0.10
Tomáš Ostrák Czech Republic 2023– 3 0 0 0 03 (35) 0.09
10 Miguel Perez United States 2023– 1 0 1 0 02 (18) 0.11
Kyle Hiebert Canada 2023– 2 0 0 0 02 (31) 0.06
Célio Pompeu Brazil 2023– 1 1 0 0 02 (32) 0.06
Indiana Vassilev United States 2023– 2 0 0 0 02 (40) 0.05

Honors[edit]

Player honors[edit]

Year Player Country Position Honor
2023 Roman Bürki Switzerland Switzerland Goalkeeper Goalkeeper of the Year[70]

Reserve team[edit]

On December 6, 2021, the club announced it would be fielding a reserve team in the new MLS Next Pro league, in the third tier of US Soccer.[71] St. Louis City 2 began play in the 2022 season, despite the MLS side not beginning play until 2023.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  65. ^ "Roster". St. Louis City SC.
  66. ^ "Designated Jersey Numbers" – via Twitter.
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  68. ^ "Club Ownership". St. Louis City SC. Retrieved July 17, 2021.
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  71. ^ "MLS NEXT Pro unveils 21 clubs for inaugural season starting March 2022". mlssoccer.com. December 6, 2021. Retrieved September 26, 2022.

External links[edit]