The United Soccer League has announced that they plan on adding three more teams to their league for next season. One in Tulsa. One in Colorado Springs.
And one in St. Louis.
USL President Tim Holt recently told ODFCnews.com about where the newest team would be:
“It’s in the heartland of the country. It sort of fits with every front of what we’re trying to do, expand the league west of the Mississippi River, add markets who have a proven history of supporting professional soccer, a fine ownership group that is committed to this in the long term and have the ability to make it happen, and have a venue that is suitable. We’re particularly excited about this next announcement coming in early May.”
“When people hear it, they’ll say it’s a market that deserves professional soccer and should have had it a couple of years ago. And they’ll probably have it forever now that something is going there in a real credible way.”
A facility for the team won’t be any problem. The new team will play at St. Louis Soccer Park, a 5,000 seat stadium in Fenton, a suburb of St. Louis.
Soccer teams have come and gone from the Gateway City, and currently have a team, the St. Louis Ambush, who are in the Minor Indoor Soccer League. But the arrival of a another team opens up many opportunities for the city, and the people who live in and around it.
While it’s a baseball town, St. Louisians’ are known for their fondness of soccer…so much so that they have held pro soccer events at Busch Stadium, bringing in record-breaking crowds.
What makes this development big is that in gaining a USL PRO team, St. Louis moves one step closer to the long-awaited goal of earning entry into the MLS. This process has been worked on and dreamed of by two St. Louis soccer club owners, who are working together in an attempt to bring a professional team back to the city. The two owners are the St. Louis Lions’ Tony Glavin and St. Louis Ambush’s Andrew Haines.
The team name, logo, and designs have yet to be named, but they are expected to join the USL in 2015, and expand the league to 17 teams overall.
One more fact gives the city of St. Louis and soccer fans hope for the future: five of the last six cities that were granted MLS franchises have had USL PRO franchises as well.
(Photo credit: STLToday.com)