The Preki era for Saint Louis FC officially begins tomorrow when the United Soccer League club opens the 2017 regular season on the road against Louisville City FC. Kickoff is set for 1 pm St. Louis time.
This will be STLFC’s third season in the USL. The home opener will be on April 1 against Ottawa Fury FC at Toyota Stadium at World Wide Technology Soccer Park.
Every USL game this season will be streamed live on YouTube. Scroll down to watch the game tomorrow.
The STLFC faithful have been patiently waiting for this day since the 2016 regular season, but you could say they’ve been foaming at the mouth since Predag “Preki” Radosavljevic was named the club’s coach back in October.
The hiring made made waves throughout the socccer world. Preki hadn’t coached since leaving Sacramento in July of 2015 with rumors he would take over a club in the United Kingdom. Whatever the plan was, it didn’t materialize.
The former MLS Coach of the Year, USL Champion and member of the St. Louis Steamers was given carte blanche to remake Saint Louis FC as he saw fit. After not making the playoffs in the club’s first two seasons of existence, the club now has almost all new faces and just a few new names to learn.
The only players returning from last season are Chad Bond, Seth Rudolph, Tyler David and AJ Cochran. Notably missing from that list is striker Irvin Herrera, who led the team with 14 goals last season. Herrera was loaned to the North American Soccer League’s New York Cosmos in the offseason,
During Preki’s time away from soccer, he traveled the world visiting family and watching soccer. The remade Saint Louis FC roster reflects his journey. The listed hometowns include towns in Poland, Denmark, Yugoslavia, Wales, Mexico, Serbia and Costa Rico.
The roster includes several players that have previously seen success in the USL. Ivan Mirkovic and Octavio Guzman led Preki’s midfield during Sacramento’s championship season. Konrad Plewa played more than 1,600 minutes for last year’s USL champion, New York Red Bulls II. Jose Angulo was the 2013 USL MVP while playing for the Pittsburgh Riverhounds and won the league’s Golden Boot with 15 goals.
Goalkeeper Devala Gorrick comes over after two seasons with the Colorado Springs Switchbacks. Gorrick played more than 2,500 minutes in goal last season and posted a 0.89 Goals Against Average.
The STLFC schedule will feature a different set of opponents this season as the team moves back to the USL’s Eastern Conference. Also in the East will be the Tampa Bay Rowdies and Ottawa Fury FC, who both join the USL this season after previously being members of the NASL.
The 2017 home opener at Toyota Stadium at World Wide Technology Soccer Park takes place on April 1 against Ottawa. Aside from the game, the evening will also serve as a de facto MLS2STL rally with St. Louis City voters going to the polls on April 4.
Tickets can be purchased through SaintLouisFC.com or by calling 636-680-0997.
For a more in-depth preview of the 2017 Saint Louis FC season, check out this piece from Matthew Bird of the St. Louligans.
Need something to get you in the mood for tomorrow’s season opener? Listen to This Is Silly with the Louligans!
All USL matches are streamed for free live on YouTube. KPLR 11 will also air ten Saint Louis FC matches live this season, starting on April 15.
Saint Louis FC vs Louisville City FC 3-25-17
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