CITY's Future - Now Playing 3/8/22
As we speculate on what is to come and how our roster will be built for 2023, following our CITY players who we know will wear our crest and represent STL in MLS is one of the most interesting things about 2022. Our CITY players. As regularly as possible, I'll look to provide updates on our currently signed players as well as any who have been publicly named as rumored signings. Today, that list includes Josh Yaro, Selmir Pidro, Tomáš Ostrák, and João Klauss. Joakim Nilsson is rumored to be agreed upon in principle, but no announcement has been made yet. So who are they and what have they been up to lately?
Josh Yaro - 5'11. 161 lbs. 27 yrs old. Center back
Yaro was drafted 2nd overall by the Philadelphia Union in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft and has played for Bethlehem Steel, San Antonio FC, and San Diego Loyal before joining St. Louis CITY SC on a free transfer. Yaro has the distinction of being the first player officially signed by CITY SC and to play for CITY2. Before moving to the first team, Yaro has been named captain of the St. Louis CITY 2 team for 2022.
3/8/22 Update: Yaro has played in multiple games this preseason, most recently against Louisville City FC in a revamped King's Cup matchup at home on 3/5/22 where he started. The club appeared to be running a 3 back backline with Yaro as the central Center back. Yaro helped CITY2 keep a clean sheet against perennial USL-Championship title contenders, Lou City.
Selmir Pidro - 5'10. 170 lbs. 24 yrs old. Left back
The first officially announced player for St. Louis CITY SC, Pidro is a Bosnian international, currently with Bosnian top flight club FK Sarajevo. Pidro has been with FK Sarajevo since early 2014 in their youth academy and as of March 8th, has 81 appearances in all competitions for FK Sarajevo dating back to 2018. Pidro has 2 caps for the Bosnian national team, including most recently against the USMNT in a friendly in December 2021. Pidro comes to St. Louis CITY SC this July for a reported transfer fee of $380,000.
3/8/22 Update: Pidro is a mainstay in the FK Sarajevo lineup, typically at Left Back or Left Mid. His last assist was on October 30, 2021. He has played the full 90' in every match he's featured in, dating back to September 2021. This weekend, Pidro started at Left Back for FK Sarajevo against FK Ziljeznicar Sarajevo and played the full 90' in a 0-2 loss.
Tomáš Ostrák - 5'7. 165 lbs. 22 yrs old. Attacking Midfielder
A Czech Republic youth international, Ostrák joined the Academy of 1. FC Köln in the German Bundesliga in 2016. He had loan spells with TSV Hartberg in the Austrian Bundesliga and MFK Karviná in the Czech Republic before being recalled by 1. FC Köln in July 2021. Ostrák has also seen time with the Czech youth national teams at the U21 (7 caps), U20 (2 caps), U19 (5 caps), U18 (3 caps), and U17 (7 caps) levels. Ostrák will join St. Louis CITY SC this July on a free transfer.
3/8/22 Update: Ostrák has featured in 8 matches for 1. FC Köln since his return in July 2021. A muscle injury kept him out of action in late 2021, and he has featured recently for the U21 Köln side against Borussia Mönchengladbach's U23s on February 23rd, notching 2 assists in a 2-0 win. Since then, Ostrák has not been named to the lineup for 1. FC Köln (his last appearance for their first team was February 11). It was said that he would not return to the U21 side and that Köln fought hard to keep him, so it is interesting that the club has kept him out of first team action since his transfer to CITY, with no injuries being reported.
João Klauss - 6'3. 185 lbs. 25 yrs old. Center Forward/Striker
Klauss is the first Designated Player signed by CITY and hails from Brazil. Lutz Pfanennstiel was the man who brought Klauss from Brazil to Germany as a 19-year old, and signed him to his first professional contract with TSG 1899 Hoffenheim II, the reserve team of TSG 1899 Hoffenheim of the German Bundesliga. Klauss has also had multiple loans to clubs such as HJK Helsinki of the Finnish top league, Linzer ASK (LASK) of the Austrian top flight, and Jupiler Pro league (Belgian top flight) clubs Standard and currently with Sint-Truidense V.V. (STVV). Klauss has scored 64 goals in 192 competitions since turning pro. As an opportunity for consistency in his continued growth, Klauss signed a 3 ½ year contract with an option for another and will join St. Louis CITY SC this July for a reported $3m transfer fee.
3/8/22 Update: Klauss has featured in 5 games since his January loan change to STVV and until this weekend, went goalless. This weekend however, Klauss played 68 minutes against KV Mechelen and scored a goal off a cross to ensure a 1-1 tie for his club.
Joakim Nilsson - 6'1. 172 lbs. 28 yrs old. Center back
Nilsson's playing career has seen him spend significant time in Sweden, spending a year with Swedish third division side IF Älgarna in 2009-2010, 2011-2016 with GIF Sundsvall bouncing between the Swedish first/second division side and three years from 2016-2019 with IF Elfsborg Boras in the first division. In 2019, Arminia Bielefeld in the Bundesliga paid $440k in transfer fees for Nilsson's services. He is a perennial starter for Bielefeld, having logged 49 matches in the German Bundesliga.
3/8/22 Update: In an interview with Flyover Footy's Phill Grooms last week, Manuel Veth with Transfermarkt reported that Nilsson and St. Louis CITY SC has agreed in principle to a contract and were working out details before an official announcement. Nilsson has been rumored to have interest from other clubs with two goals of his being consistent playing time leading to a continued presence on the Swedish national team and seemingly one final payday, as by many standards, he is currently in the prime of his career. His last game in the Bundesliga for Arminia Beilefeld was on March 4, where he played the full 90' in a 0-1 loss to FC Augsberg.
By Matt Baker