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St. Louis Weekend: Soccer Trifecta

This weekend offers a blitz of local soccer action for St. Louis area fans.  During a 24 hour period, the St. Louis Lions will open their 2010 season at home Saturday at 5:00 pm, AC St. Louis plays USSF D2 leading Portland Saturday night at 9:00 pm (viewing available via online streaming from the team’s website and also on Fox Sports Northwest), and the St. Louis Athletica host 2009 WPS champion Sky Blue FC.

The St. Louis Lions open their fifth Premier Development League season at the Tony Glavin Soccer Complex, located near Mid Rivers Mall Drive (and next to St. Charles Community College).  The Lions face the Real Colorado Foxes, whose alumni include current AC St. Louis midfielders Chris Salvagionne and Brad Stisser.  (The duo combined for 10 goals for the Foxes in 2009).   The league serves an important role in the development of American soccer players, as college players can get extra game experience playing with PDL teams in the summer without losing college eligibility.

The Lions’ match will end about two hours before kickoff for AC St. Louis as they try to avenge their April 22 loss to the Timbers.   Since that 3-0 defeat, AC St. Louis has gone 1-2, including a stint of over 200 minutes of shutout soccer.  To gain a result, AC St. Louis will have to cancel Portland’s Ryan Pore Show, as the Timbers’ midfielder has individually outscored eight of the twelve USSF D2 teams with six goals.  As stated earlier,  AC St. Louis fans will have a rare opportunity to watch their team on TV.  The Amsterdam Tavern, on Morganford near Tower Grove Park, will also feature the game with some of the Eads Brigade in attendance.

Finally, at 3:00 pm on Sunday, the St. Louis Athletica host FC Sky Blue at AB Soccer Park.  This game has additional signifigance as the Athletica players will be wearing special uniforms commemorating the team’s involvement with the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.  Each of the 22 Athletica players will have the name of a breast cancer survivor on her uniform, and registration for a Race registration drive will also take place that day.  “It was quite an honor to be chosen as the honorary Race co-chairs,” stated Athletica Captain Lori Chalupny. “Wearing the names of these women who have battled breast cancer on our jersey is just a small way we can honor them and everyone who has ever been diagnosed with the disease. We feel like we are bringing them onto the field with us by doing this, and I think it will be inspiring to pull those jerseys on before the game on Sunday.”

Twenty-four hours.  Three St. Louis soccer teams.   Now, because of the efforts of two men, Tony Glavin of the Lions and Jeff Cooper of the Athletica and AC St. Louis, we have three local teams playing in a 24 hour span.  Want to say thank you?  Go to the games.  Low on funds?  According to their websites, Lions’ tickets are as low as $5 and Athletica tickets start at $12.  And if you have a sports package, the AC St. Louis game will be on Channel 687 on DirecTV and 426 on Dish Network.  Or you can watch on your computer from the AC St. Louis website or go to the Amsterdam or other fine establishments that will be showing the game.  Enjoy our soccer feast and support our teams.

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