ST. LOUIS – Bright lights, crisp air and thousands of cheers marked a special occasion Saturday night: The inaugural home opener for St. Louis CITY SC.
CITYPARK won the hearts of many in its first taste of MLS spotlight. And St. Louis CITY SC provided the cherry on top with a 3-1 victory over Charlotte FC in its first true home match, improving to 2-0 in its first chapter of franchise history.
The stadium experience was unforgettable for many players, coaches and even MLS commissioner Don Garber. A sold-out crowd of 22,423 fans had the chance to witness history. Many key figures in CITY SC’s inaugural season were thrilled with the opening night atmosphere.
Don Garber, MLS commissioner
“This is a community with soccer at its heart, and that doesn’t happen everywhere in the MLS. One thing I said to the ownership group, we’ve built a fan-following, a culture in many cities in this country that have to learn about the game. In this city, we delivered the game in the next generation of what MLS is and what it can be.”
Bradley Carnell, CITY SC Coach
“Very proud of the boys and to be part of the celebrations of St. Louis … Last night, the party started, and the fans brought it today. This has been incredible. There aren’t many stadiums with this kind of atmosphere.”
Roman Bürki, CITY SC Goalie (Captain)
“To secure the wins with the fans on our back is an amazing feeling. When I talked to the team before the game, I said, ‘Suck it in, take it as a push.’ … It’s an amazing stadium here. The atmosphere is amazing. The whole stadium, not just one part of the stadium. It was completely electric.”
Eduard Löwen, CITY SC Midfielder
“When I stepped out, I had goosebumps. You could tell the whole city was waiting for this moment. … You could see after we won that everyone was so happy and waiting for this moment for such a long time. Not only St. Louis CITY the club, it’s really the whole city behind us and that’s what makes it really special.”
Klauss, CITY SC Forward
“It’s incredible. It’s very loud. I saw everyone throwing beer. … I want to be on a club that I can say ‘that’s my club, I’m home.’ Today, playing in front of these great fans, a lot of love from outside.”
Niko Gioacchini, CITY SC Forward
“It didn’t feel like 22,000, it felt like 50,000. I want to thank all the supporters for coming out and showing the energy and love to us, something that is very important in this sport. It’s more than we expected.”
Jake Nerwinski, CITY SC Defense
“It’s pretty special. This city has waited a long time for a professional team. Everyone showed up for it, so it was awesome. It gave us that extra boost we needed, and it was great that we got three points. It was so loud. I hope it stays that way.”
CITY SC becomes the fourth MLS franchise to start an inaugural season, 2-0. CITY SC travels to Portland next weekend, then returns to CITYPARK for its second home match on March 18 against the San Jose Quakes.