Saint Louis FC Will Return 5 Players In 2018 Under New Coach Anthony Pulis
Gomez and Reynolds Are First Signings Announced By USL Club
Shortly after this post was published, Saint Louis FC announced the signing of Corey Hertzog. The forward spent the last two seasons with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds where he appeared in 67 matches and scored 27 goals.
Saint Louis FC began the 2017 season with a new head coach and three players returning from the previous season. In 2018, the club will again have a new coach — Anthony Pulis will take over for Preki — and five players will return from last season’s team that finished 9-14-9 and missed the USL playoffs.
Devala Gorrick, Christian Volesky, Ivan Mirkovic, Tony Walls and Austin Ledbetter have already been announced as returning for STLFC in 2018.
Gorrick, Volesky and Mirkovic were already under contract for this season while Ledbetter and Walls had options in their contracts for 2018 that were picked up by the club.
In addition to the returning players, the club has already announced the signing of two free agents.
Tomas Gomez Was Standout Keeper At Webster Groves
The first signing announced by the club was that of Webster Groves High School alumnus Tomas Gomez. The 24-year old goalkeeper spent the last two USL seasons playing for the Rochester Rhinos in New York.
Gomez comes back to St. Louis to play professionally for the organization that he spent his youth with. Though born in Montemorelos, Mexico, he played his youth soccer in the St. Louis Scott Gallagher program before heading off to play at Georgetown University.
Tomas Gomez has been one of the top goaltenders in the USL over the last two seasons, winning the USL Golden Glove award in both seasons for compiling the lowest Goals Against Average in the league.
The owners of the Rhinos announced at the end of November that the club will be taking a one-year hiatus after failing to raise $1.3 million.
Gomez is excited about his return to St. Louis, as he expressed in the announcement of the move on the Saint Louis FC website.
“For me when I heard Saint Louis was an option, it was a no brainer for me,” said Gomez. “I grew up five minutes away from the stadium and this place is what helped me get to where I am today. I’ve heard so much about the fans and community that supports the club and that is something I want to be a part of—I want to be a part of the process that gets the team to be a championship contender.”
Sean Reynolds Won 2017 USL Cup with LouCity
The second signing announced was that of defender Sean Reynolds. Reynolds made 17 starts for Louisville City FC last season and hoisted the USL Cup trophy with the team at the end of the season. The 27-year old played three seasons in Louisville making almost 70 appearances for the club in all competitions.
Reynolds was a college teammate of STLFC alum Richard Dixon at the University of West Florida. The pair earned back-to-back Gulf South Conference Player of the Year honors , Reynolds in 2011 and Dixon in 2012.
Reynolds has also played professionally in Iceland, worked the morning shift at Home Depot and coached a high school boys soccer team.
Reynolds and Anthony Pulis first crossed paths in Orlando City, where Pulis was player-coach of the USL side and Reynolds was playing for the U-23 side. Pulis continued to follow Reynolds’ career and had this to say about the defender in a press release from STLFC.
“Sean is someone who has impressed me immensely every time I’ve watched him for Louisville,” said Anthony Pulis, STLFC Head Coach. “He is a very good one-versus-one defender, possesses great pace and is good in the air. More importantly, he has a fantastic attitude and is a real competitor with a hunger to keep improving. He is another excellent acquisition for us as we continue to build our roster for 2018.”
Putting The Pieces Together In 2018
How will Reynolds and Gomez fit into the overall makeup of Saint Louis FC in 2018? That, of course, remains to be seen.
It’s easier to talk about how Gomez fits in at Soccer Park. With Devala Gorrick returning, Anthony Pulis will have a top-quality pairing in goal. Gorrick and Gomez were 2 of the 3 finalists for USL Goalkeeper of the Year in 2016. While Gorrick had a somewhat down year last season, the 30-year old will look to bounce back in his second season in St. Louis.
Adam Grinwis, Gorrick’s goalkeeping partner last season, has not signed anywhere for 2018 as of this writing. There has been talk that a few MLS teams are looking to bring the “Ginger Ninja” into camp.
As for Reynolds, look for him to anchor the team’s defense along with Austin Ledbetter.
Mirkovic should factor into the team’s midfield with Volesky penciled in at forward.
Tony Walls is a natural midfielder but could also see minutes in the back.
USL Adding Clubs In 2018
Saint Louis FC will begin the 2018 USL season, its fourth, in March and play a 34-game regular season over 31 weeks.
At least five new clubs will begin play in the USL this coming season. Expansion teams in Nashville, Las Vegas and Fresno will all begin play this season.
North Carolina FC will move to the USL after playing several seasons in the North American Soccer League. Formerly the Carolina RailHawks, the club originally began play in 2007 in the USL before leaving to found the NASL. The club announced last month that it will begin play in the USL this season.
MLS side Atlanta United announced last month that it will field a USL club in 2018.
2018 Saint Louis FC season tickets can be purchased through SaintLouisFC,com or by calling 636-680-0997.
Need your Saint Louis FC fix even in the offseason? Be sure to listen to the latest episode of the This Is Silly! podcast from the St. Louligans. Also, be sure to listen for opportunities to hang out with the rest of the Saint Louis FC faithful.