FAIRMONT CITY, IL – The future is bright for St. Louis soccer ahead of St Louis CITY SC’s inagural season in the MLS.

In the meantime, CITY is buidling an even brighter future for local youth.

“Who else gets this,” Fairmont City parent Oscar Cortez said. “It doesn’t happen often. You just have to embrace it.”

Cortez is refering to the MLS clubs newest endeavor, CITY Futures.

CITY Futures provides free soccer instruction across the bi-state area, including Cortez’s home in Fairmon City, IL. The program currently offers practices at four locations, but will soon add a fifth location in University City, MO.

“We understood that soccer was big here in the community,” CITY Director of Regional Training and Education Sascha Bauer said.

In Fairmont City, soccer is even more popular.

Raul Munoz and Charlie Arriola started the Farimont City Wildcats years ago in hopes of providing more opportunities to local youth. The opportunity to partner with CITY was a dream come true.

“We knew it would excite the kids more,” Arriola said. “Everybody lights up when they see that [CITY] logo.”

FC Wildcats typically provides practices two times a week or more. CITY practices are held on Thursdays.

“On Mondays, we have like 40 or 50 kids,” Munoz said with a smile. “On Thursdays, we have like 80.”

The program is still in its early stages, having just begun back in Spring of 2022. CITY officials hope the program will continue to grow, including plans to host a tournament between each Futures location.

St Louis CITY SC will begin it’s first season in MLS when the 2023 season kicks off in February.