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AB Soccer Park Saturday April 17: This is Where the Fun Starts

As I’m writing this, it’s about 48 hours until opening kickoff of AC St. Louis’ home opener against the Austin Aztex.  That first kick will end a 33 year absence of professional men’s outdoor soccer in our town, and bring to life again our exciting St. Louis tradition.  Dating back to the 1904 Olympics in St. Louis, the 1950 US World Cup squad that featured five St. Louisans upsetting mighty England, the strong amateur and semi-pro teams here that dominated the US Open Cup for years, the St. Louis Stars with so much home-grown talent, St. Louis University and SIU-Edwardsville towering over  college soccer opponents in the 1960s and 1970s, the indoor Steamers and Ambush that brought so much fun to our city –we are BACK !!!

St. Louis was once referred to as the soccer capital of the United States, but with all due respect to those who believe that, other parts of our country have caught up as the beautiful game grows nationwide.  Now that we have a professional team, though, we have a chance to recapture that title.  Not everything has been smooth, on field and off, for our new team in its infancy, but things have improved with a relaunched website, television and newspaper ads and the arrival of more players, including Brazilian youngster Alex Titton and local player Mike Ambersley.  Midfielders Luke Kreamalmeyer, Brad Stisser, Hagop Chiriishian and defender Anthony O’Garro will be available Saturday, giving our squad much more depth.  I’ve seen AC St. Louis play three times now, and we definetely have some very talented players.  Each practice and game will bring more cohesion and effectiveness to Coach Anelka’s squad.  Overall, despite a few bumps and bruises that accompany any newborn enterprise, the AC St. Louis coaching staff and front office has done their part.

Now its our turn.  April 17th, the fun starts at AB Soccer Park and continues for 15 more home games that stretch into early October.  It’s up to us, the fans and supporters groups, to pack the house and ROCK it.  Bring your family and friends, even those new to soccer, and let’s show the USSF, the MLS and the world that we are indeed, THE SOCCER CAPITAL OF THE USA.  If you can’t make it to the game, watch it on streaming video, buy a t-shirt or jersey to wear around town, talk up the team.  This is our chance to shine.  Let’s seize the day and show everyone that we aren’t only a great baseball, hockey and football town….we are  the best soccer town around.

You know, I was doing some research on  Saturday’s opponents, the Austin Aztex, and was reviewing their win over Montreal last weekend.  Looking at the Impact’s website, I saw that Montreal is hosting both Fiorentina and AC Milan this summer !!!   Montreal is in the same league as we are, USSF D2, although they’ve been around a long enough to build a tradition.  I don’t know about you, but I’d love the big-time foreign clubs to play here.  Chelsea, Inter Milan, Liverpool, Club America,  AC Milan, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Boca Juniors, River Plate, Everton, Celtic have all played summer games in the U.S. in recent years.  St. Louis is already set to host the Players for Peace Goodwill game this August at the Ed, which will feature many famous international stars and be fabulous, but I want more.  Don’t you? 

It all begins this Saturday.  Let’s put St. Louis back on the map of the soccer world and start a new chapter in our glorious tradition.  GO AC !!!

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2 Responses

  1. Great article. Thanks for the history lesson. See you Saturday.

  2. best write up yet, Gerry. Great job. I’m super excited and the energy level at AB will be out of this world this Saturday!!

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