When thinking of St. Louis, most people associate the city with the Cardinals, the Blues, or the famous monumental arch. When the St. Louis Rams left for Los Angeles at the end of the 2015 season, it left a hole in the city. The Rams were a large attraction for St. Louis, similar to most professional sports teams. The city now has zero professional basketball teams and zero professional football teams. To fill the void that the Rams have left, there will be a professional soccer team taking the field in 2023. St. Louis City SC will join the MLS, becoming the 30th team in Major League Soccer.
St. Louis hasn’t housed a professional soccer team in ages, except for those very few times the United States National Soccer Team played in the city. St. Louis’s history of soccer isn’t very eye-popping either, but the city does have one championship title. The lone title was brought to the city by the St. Louis Ambush, a member of the MASL (Major Arena Soccer League), playing a completely different concept of soccer with a smaller size field and roster. The only professional soccer team playing in the city as of right now is the St. Louis FC, a soccer team that is part of the USL Championship, which is a league below the MLS.
With a new team, a new facility needs to be built. St. Louis will build a stadium that will seat 22,500 fans along with offices and a training facility that will be built as a part of a thirty-one acre project. The new facility looks to be a major attraction for the city of St. Louis. The facilities should be completed for the start of the 2023 season. The location of the stadium will be in downtown St. Louis, which is the heart of the city.
There can be many mixed emotions when talking about forming a new professional team. When talking to Greenville’s Head Soccer Coach Chris Swift, he gave his truthful thoughts on the formation of the team. “There’s a void, especially through the summer and into the fall. Yeah, you have the Cardinals, but once hockey is finished, there is a void for an outdoor sport,” Swift commented. Coach Swift believes that once City SC hits St. Louis, this void for an outdoor sport will be fulfilled. He expresses how St. Louis has a great and loyal fan base and that this soccer team will take off in popularity.
Just like the Cardinals, St. Louis City SC will look to bring the city together. City SC will have plenty of attention when their first match takes place in 2023. The attention that the city lost when the Rams moved to Los Angeles will be brought back once this franchise is fully built. Although the start of the new franchise will take time to settle, the city will be ready to welcome them when that time comes.
Media by Jose Soutullo Fernandez.