AC St. Louis has been riddled with injuries seemingly since their training camp began in March, but now in late April some key players are ready, or nearly ready, to take the field.
Most notably Steve Ralston, who has been practicing for the past few weeks, is on the verge of making his St. Louis debut. Monday saw Ralston once again going through the squad’s practice session. The potential good news is that Ralston will undergo an isokinetic test on Monday afternoon to determine if he is released to full play. Should he pass Ralston could be see time in Saturday night’s match as AC St. Louis host Crystal Palace Baltimore. Ralston has been sidelines as he recovers from ACL surgery.
“If I get cleared to play I expect to see some time come Saturday night,” said Ralston. “Hopefully I will get into the game, contribute, and help the team get our first win.”
Forward and St. Louis native Mike Ambersley is also back to full strength after being sideline with a right hip flexor. Ambersley’s return is perfect timing due to Elvir Kafedzic’s severe hematoma behind his right knee. Kafedzic may miss several weeks while he recovers.
Chris Salvaggione also returned to practice on Monday. Salvaggione had suffered a torn patella tendon. He is listed as 50/50 for this weekend’s game.
Monday also saw Luke Kreamalmeyer, Jack Traynor, and Brad Stisser sit out practice due to nagging injuries. Kreamalmeyer has a tight hamstring, but will be back to practice Tuesday and will be in the lineup on Saturday night. Traynor is nursing a sprained ankle from last Thursday’s game in Portland, but is expected to be able to play. Forward Brad Stisser, hamstring, will be re-evaluated midweek.
At 0-4-0 AC St. Louis certainly needs some welcome news on the injury front. Monday following practice several players talked about what this team needs to do to post a “W” in the win column.
“We played better in Vancouver than we did in Portland, and at times we did play well in Portland,” said veteran Luke Kreamalmeyer. “Overall we have made too many big mistakes. As we get healthy you’ll see a different looking team very soon, but we still need to put together a consistent 90 minute effort as an entire group.”
“Every game thus far our opponents have capitalized on our mistakes,” reflected Jack Traynor. “We simply have to minimize those mistakes. Offensively we are getting there, we are creating opportunities, now we need to finish off those chances.”
“We need a solid week of practice, and to get healthy so we can field the best team possible,” said Brad Stisser. “But we also need to just get in there and scrap it out. It is going to be a grind, but if we use all our concentration and effort it will come.”
“Right now we are a little too defensive,” said player and assistant coach Ralston. “Scoring some goals would be the answer to how we get our first win. We need to get more pressure going forward, and we really need that great final pass to create some quality chances.”
Kick-off Saturday night is set for 7:10 at The Anheuser-Busch Soccer Park. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling 1-888-STL-GOAL or online.