Another Win, Another Milestone for St. Louis CITY SC


St. Louis City Soccer Club (City SC) shut out the San Jose Earthquakes 3-0 at their new home pitch, CITYPARK, on Mar. 18, 2023, becoming the first expansion team in MLS history to win each of their first four matches.

City SC won their opening three games entering Saturday, joining the Seattle Sounders as the only expansion team to ever achieve this feat, with all three wins serving as come-from-behind victories. Despite their tenacious playstyle and evident comradery, the team’s early success came as a shock to many fans and the rest of the league. 

“The boys were confident from day one. The boys were angry from day one that no one believed in them,” Head Coach Bradley Carnell said in a postgame press-conference following their game against San Jose. “It’s not just about having a chip on the shoulder: We can compete, we can comeback, we can dominate, we can take control and we can execute.”

As game time neared closer on Saturday night, fans packed into CITYPARK despite the freezing conditions. In the 34th minute of the game, Niko Gioacchini found the back of the net for Saint Louis’ first goal. João Klauss scored the second goal of the evening during first half stoppage time. Tomáš Ostrák slammed the door on San Jose with CITY’s third and final goal in the 68th minute of the match. Roman Bürki, the 32-year-old Swiss goalkeeper, recorded his first clean sheet of the season, making two saves in the process. “Roman [Bürki] was itching for the clean sheet,” Coach Carnell said in the press conference after the game. “He really wanted this one badly. We gave him the ball in the locker room–congratulating him.”

Similar to the inaugural home-opener, the environment at CITYPARK against the Earthquakes seemed to be an immense advantage for City SC. “The atmosphere was the loudest stadium I’ve ever been at,” SLU freshman Jared Thornberry said. Thornberry, who has attended both home games with season tickets, said, “Instead of cheering after home runs, touchdowns, or [hockey] goals, the stadium was singing and chanting the whole 90 minutes and it was unreal.” Fans, players and coaches have already compared the 22,500-seat stadium to electric venues and atmospheres in European Leagues.

The economic impact of St. Louis City SC, particularly on local restaurants and businesses, cannot be understated. Syberg’s Market, located right next to CITYPARK, holds weekly watch parties for City SC’s matches. 

“Business has been great so far–we’ve been really busy,” said Alon Salomon, manager of Syberg’s on Market Street. “Fans are coming out here by the dozens and it’s been very consistent for every game. We’ve been preparing for this for a while, to be honest.” Syberg’s is one of countless restaurants that holds weekly watch parties, with St. Louis City SC typically posting on their social media accounts where the nearest watch party is. 

Passionate about its local roots and impact, St. Louis City SC has done a great job at reinforcing the importance of the “Gateway City” throughout their time as an MLS soccer club. For instance, Miguel Perez, a 17-year-old senior at Pattonville High School, became the first “homegrown” player in franchise history this season. Perez has played in all four games this season for City SC and was recently named to the United States Under-19 Men’s Youth National Team. 

Additionally, the team plays with a ferocious style, not too dissimilar to the work-ethic that the greater St. Louis region is known for. “We want to embrace the mindset of the St. Louisan,” Coach Carnell said. “We want to embrace the culture of the community.”

CITYPARK and its staff have done an excellent job with broadcasting and presenting the games to City SC fans. Carson Pruitt, a freshman at SLU, is one of two Character Generators at CITYPARK. He operates software that creates real time computer graphics, which are displayed on the video boards throughout the game. 

“There is so much more that goes into a sports production that no one realizes,” Pruitt said. “The whole day of the home opener I was stressed, not knowing if my graphics were going to work as intended,” Pruit stated. “We were able to improve greatly [for] the second home match. It was so gratifying to finally have fans in the stadium to appreciate our work and enjoy a match.”

In spite of previous failed attempts to bring a professional soccer team to “the Lou,” it seems safe to assume that this club has found a welcoming home. While many fans and analysts have doubted this team coming into the season, it seems as if there are no obstacles that this team cannot overcome.


City SC’s next game is Apr. 1 against Minnesota United FC at CITYPARK and can be streamed on Apple TV.