Rising hopes for MLS team as St. Louis FC advances in US Open Cup

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – Soccer fans Wednesday night had hoped their excitement for minor league soccer would be seen by Major League Soccer as another reason why St. Louis deserves an MLS team.

At the pregame tailgating in Fenton, the brats were sizzling on a hot grill but not as hot as the passion fans like the St. Louligans have for their team as they try to win the US Open Cup against MLS teams.

“To be able to have our team make it into the last 16 teams in the entire country means a lot to us as fans,” said Liz Mayfield, a spokesman for the St. Louligans.

The St. Louligans lead a march into the stadium just before game time; an important part of the team ritual.

FC Cincinnati fans drove in from Ohio to support their club. Even though they were rivals on the pitch Wednesday, Cincinnati fans think St. Louis deserves a team.

“I saw the Stanley Cup celebration. You can’t say there’s not a sports town here,” said Brent Dorsal, a fan from Cincinnati.

The person who has the latest information on the MLS negotiations is Carolyn Betz, possible future owner of a St. Louis franchise. She’s been attending many of the STLFC games lately and getting to know the soccer fans.

“Coming off the Stanley Cup win and celebration, St. Louis has so many good things happening right now when it comes to professional sports, and this is just yet another one,” she said. “I think the MLS is excited to see what St. Louis is going to do.”

Most folks think it’s all but a sure thing that St. Louis will be selected for an MLS team. We may hear an announcement at the end of July or the end of August at the latest. A sponsor for the stadium and one for the team is still being negotiated.

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