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Corner Kicks: Impressions of AC-KC Game and Other News

They say that you only have one chance to make a first impression.  In that case, my first impression of AC St. Louis, playing at AB Soccer Park, in front of almost 3000 enthusiastic fans, playing well against a strong KC Wizards team on April 3rd was….AWESOME.

We arrived at the park a little before halftime of the SLU-SIUE game and were directed where to park.  Went up to the clubhouse,, picked up my season tickets, met Dave Trotter, everything went smooth.  Dave got his press credentials and took pictures.  AB Soccer Park looked great, clean and sparkling, and well staffed.  I only bought a soda but didn’t have to wait long in line and concessions seemed reasonably priced.  Nice.

We sat in section 2 near some SIU-E fans.  I enjoyed the game, won by SLU. 1-0.  Hopefully big things are ahead for both programs next fall.  A gentleman sitting behind me said hello and started talking, and here it was Scott Stisser, Brad’s father, who’d come all the way from Colorado to see Brad.  (Unfortunately Brad had a knock and couldn’t play).  Scott also told me that he’d been involved with coaching the Wizard’s Roger Espinoza, who also is a member of the Honduran national team that will be in South Africa in June for the World Cup.  He told me what a great young guy Roger was.  Cool stuff.

The atmosphere at the park really ratcheted up when AC St. Louis took the field.  I’m sure the players were a bit nervous, but they played pretty well overall.  Alec Dufty made some good savesl and defensively the team looked solid.  Our attack was up and down, and lacked the cohesion that was demonstrated in the second half of our game against SLU at Hermann Field last week, but on the other hand KC had most of their regulars in the game, the same regulars who destroyed DC United 4-0 the previous week.  Elvir’s penalty kick was cool and it looked like the game would end in a draw until we had a defensive lapse and the Wizards’ scored off a free kick to win 2-1.

The high point of the night was definitely the supporters groups.  Totally, unbelievably fantastic.  United Knights led the way, but Eads Brigade, Day Pints, Laclede’s Army and River City Saints all contributed to make the atmosphere electrifying.  Thanks to everyone involved, and all I can ask is for is “more, more, more !!!”  Let’s fill the house on April 17.

So a shout out to the AC players, front office and staff, and the outstanding fans who made the first AC game in history so memorable.  For their first home game, AC St. Louis made a great impression.  As my friend Mac said as we were leaving, “Man, I’m glad we got season tickets.”

In other news, I wanted to mention that the NASL has a new website up that is a big improvement over the original.  Not only schedules and team rosters, but also history of the old NASL  Also, I noticed that our opener against Carolina on April 10 will be the first game in the history of the new NASL, as it starts a half hour earlier than the Rochester-Miami FC game.  Too cool.

Finally, I came across a fun interview with Steve Ralston on the April 6 “Feuerstein’s Fire” podcast on Blog Talk Radio.  Steve once again proves that not only is he a great player and mentor to the young ACSTL players as an assistant coach, but also an outstanding ambassador for our team and the league.  Class guy.

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