The new year always brings great things, and the original soccer city, St.Louis, is proud to announce that pro outdoor soccer will return in 2015.
Soccer began in St.Louis in 1907 with the St.Louis Soccer League, the country’s only fully professional soccer league of its day. Over the years St.Louis has been home to many NASL, MISL, NPSL, WISL, and a WPS team, but finally we have a USL Pro team: Saint Louis Football Club.
SLSG PRO LLC was awarded the USL Pro franchise on May 1, 2014. That same day the club also announced that they would play their home games at Saint Louis Soccer Park in Fenton, Missouri, which has a stadium capacity of 6,200. Dale Schilly, the youth club director of Saint Louis Scott Gallagher, was named head coach and Jeremy Alumbaugh, the director of coaching of Saint Louis Scott Gallagher, as the general manager. Saint Louis FC is owned and operated by SLSG PRO, affiliated with the large youth select soccer club St. Louis Scott Gallagher.
A month later it was announced that the club would be named Saint Louis Football Club (STL FC), and two potential logos were revealed, with a fan vote to decide the winner. The logo chosen by fans includes a fleur-de-lis, which acts as the focal point of the logo and pays tribute to Saint Louis’ French Heritage. Also included in the logo is a reference to the year the city was founded, 1764, and 5 lines to represent the club’s 5 core values: Unity, Humility, Passion, Respect, and Tradition.
With all this exciting news a common question frequently arises: If we’re such a soccer town, why doesn’t St. Louis have a Major League Soccer team? At the end of the day, you still need an owner that has a lot of money, and you need a soccer-specific stadium. It will take a few years for the build up, but this is a huge step towards a bright future for STL FC. Whether St. Louis ends up on the MLS roster or not, the city has proven itself as a soccer-lover’s destination. St. Louis is the up-and-coming soccer mecca of the USA.
“St. Louis is such an important market in American soccer. It has been and it still is,” said USL Pro president Tim Holt when STL FC launched. “Soccer may have been in some state of hibernation here for the past couple of decades. That’s going to change.”
The USL Pro season will run from late March to late September, and STL FC will release its final schedule later this month. The team is already renovating Soccer Park in Fenton to get ready for the season.