It was announced this week that St. Louis will be joining Major League soccer as the league’s 28th team beginning in 2022. It’s long overdue as St. Louis was one of the country’s earliest soccer hot beds.
The St. Louis Soccer League was founded over 100 years ago in 1907. It was the country's only fully professional soccer league at this time. The league lasted until 19139.
The city was also represented during the era of the North American Soccer League. The St. Louis Stars played from 1967–77, before heading west and renaming the team the California Surf.
St. Louis was also the home of two teams that were a part of the Major Indoor Soccer League. The St. Louis Steamers played from 1979-1988. In 1989 the St. Louis Storm became a part of the league. The team lasted for three years before disbanding in 1992.
During the 1950 World Cup in Brazil, five St. Louis players were a part of the team that defeated England. This included keeper Frank Borghi as well as Harry Keough, Gino Pariani, Frank (Peewee) Wallace and Charley Colombo. Team USA assistant coach William “Chubby” Lyons. also hailed from the city.
In addition, a number of St. Louis teams have won the US Open Cup or the National Challenge Cup as it was previously known.
In May 1920, St. Louis team the Ben Millers defeated Fore River of Massachusetts. The match was attended by more than 10,000. The Ben Millers was the first team outside the East coast to win the title.
Other Challenge Cup winners from St. Louis included:
• Scullin Steel: 1922
• Stix, Baer and Fuller: 1933, 1934
• Central Breweries: 1935
• Simpkins-Ford: 1948, 1950
• Kutis: 1957, 1986
• Busch: 1988
To say the city is excited for the new team would be an understatement. To get an idea of what fans had to say, just check out the hashtag: #MLS4THELOU.