CITY HYPE: A Fan's Perspective, Chapter Three
Welcome to "CITY HYPE"! The ongoing adventures of one St. Louis City SC fan and his journey of Major League Soccer fandom and the buildup to MLS in the StL in 2023
Previously in "CITY HYPE": Our man Keith reported back from games at Inter Miami and Sporting KC to talk about the MLS experience. This week, he reflects on his first bit of local Hype.
Chapter 3: The Flashback in Fenton
Date: June/July of 2021
Matchup: St. Louis Scott Gallagher vs. Unknown
Location: Soccer Park, Fenton, MO
Every good story has to have a flashback, and here is mine: Miami may have been the first MLS match I ever attended, but St. Louis Scott Gallagher's match in Fenton was the first time I had attended a live soccer match (at least, one that did not include kids in my family playing).
I actually went to two of these matches this past June/July, and, as I drove to the park, I really didn't know what to expect. When I got there, I noticed several smaller pitches with games going on, and as I entered, I was greeted by a large statue of a player making a play on a soccer ball, all framed by a view of the stands and the main pitch.
I don't remember much about the match, but I do remember that it was exciting to watch. I eventually noticed a section in a far corner of the complex where some of StLFC's most avid supporters, the St. Louligans, took up residence. The group of Louligans that had made it out to this match to cheer on SLSG was small, but I can imagine that on StLFC gamedays this section must have been packed. The park must have been pumping with energy in those days. As a matter of fact, at one of the two games I went to, the Louligans did a march into their section. Drums were playing, flags were flying. It definitely brought the energy to the small crowd in attendance. In March of 2023 it will be exciting to see the Louligans, Boone's Brigade, and other groups combine together to create one massive group of supporters doing their thing. This was a good glimpse into that day.
Eventually I made my way over to introduce myself to some of the Louligans. The members of the group were very welcoming, but I didn't stay there too long because I wanted to take in the match from various angles, and I found myself being drawn to the center line seats. It was such a fun night of soccer for me, and I got the chance to see several of St. Louis CITY SC's front office personnel there. I spoke to CXO Matt Sebek, but only very briefly (one sentence really), but he did say he liked my shirt. That's something pretty cool I think, although how could he not? It was a St. Louis CITY SC shirt.
By Keith Smith