Team Profile: St. Louis City SC
Year founded: 2019.
First season in MLS: 2023.
Stadium: CITYPARK, St. Louis, MO
2023 highlights: I suspect everything will be a highlight for the new boys in their first season in Major League Soccer, from the trip to Austin FC on February 25th to the home game with Seattle Sounders on October 21st. Their inaugural campaign includes a 4th July trip to five-time champions LA Galaxy, while they will get a first crack at near-neighbors Sporting Kansas City when the pair meet at CITYPARK on May 20th. Their home opener is against Charlotte FC in game two of the season, on March 4th.
Head Coach: Bradley Carnell made over 300 appearances as a player, beginning and ending in his native South Africa, though with the bulk coming in Germany. He was assistant coach to Chris Armas at New York Red Bulls, and handed the interim tag when Armas was fired in September 2020, with NYRB stood at 3-4-2. In 14 games under Carnell, the Red Bulls went 6-5-3 to reach the playoffs.
Players to watch: Roman Bürki, Joakim Nilsson, Joao Klauss, Eduard Löwen.
Samuel Adeniran (trade from Seattle) Rasmus Alm (free) Jonathan Bell (Expansion Draft) Njabulo Blom (transfer from Kaizer Chiefs) Roman Burki (transfer from Borussia Dortmund) Nicholas Gioacchini (Expansion Draft) Caden Glover (homegrown) Kyle Hiebert (St Louis CITY2) Aziel Jackson (trade from Minnesota) Isak Jensen (transfer from SonderjyskE) Joao Klauss (transfer from Hoffenheim) Eduard Lowen (transfer from Hertha BSC) Ben Lundt (transfer from Phoenix Rising) John Nelson (Expansion Draft) Jake Nerwinski (free agent) Joakim Nilsson (transfer from Arminia Bielefeld) Owen O'Malley (Generation adidas) Tomas Ostrak (transfer from FC Koln) Tim Parker (trade from Houston) Selmir Pidro (transfer from FK Sarajevo) Célio Pompeu (St Louis CITY2) Max Schneider (St Louis CITY2) Jared Stroud (trade from Austin) Indiana Vassilev (transfer from Aston Villa) Akil Watts (St Louis CITY2) Josh Yaro (St Louis CITY2)
2022 summary: this will be their first season in Major League Soccer.
Facts and Stats: German-born Lutz Pfannenstiel, St. Louis City's sporting director, has had a colorful career to date. As a goalkeeper he played at 25ifferent clubs across 20 seasons and became the first - and, to date, only - player to have played in all six regions of FIFA, with stints in countries such Malaysia, South Africa, New Zealand, Singapore, Armenia, Brazil, Namibia, and Albania. He spent 101 days in a Singapore prison on charges of match fixing, charges which would later be dropped. On December 26th, 2002, Pfannenstiel was involved in a collision during a game for Bradford Park Avenue in the English sixth tier, and actually stopped breathing. The team physio thought he had died.
Head coach, Bradley Carnell, played all three games for South Africa at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, facing Paraguay, Slovenia, and Spain.
St. Louis City SC had a team in MLS NEXT Pro for its inaugural season. Among their roster were brothers Ezra and Dida Armstrong, the sons of former USMNT player Desmond Armstrong, who represented the national side at the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy.
St. Louis and Kansas City are separated by about 250 miles along Interstate 70. They meet three times in 2023, on May 20th (H), September 2nd (A), and September 30th (H).
Milestones in 2023: St. Louis City SC will play their first MLS match on February 25th, when they visit Austin FC.