ST. LOUIS – In a season of many firsts, St. Louis CITY SC is gearing up for its inaugural Decision Day match this weekend.
Decision Day, set for Saturday, Oct. 21, marks the final day of the MLS regular season. Many teams will be fighting for playoff hopes or seeding during their Decision Day matchups. St. Louis CITY SC, which has already locked up the best seed in the west, eyes for something bigger.
Simply put, it comes down to this:
A victory on Saturday would help St. Louis improve to 59 points on the season and break a MLS record for the most points in an expansion team’s first season.
A draw on Saturday would help St. Louis improve to 57 points on the season and match the MLS record for the most points in an expansion team’s first season.
The record currently belongs to LAFC, who finished with 57 points during their inaugural season in 2018. St. Louis already has more wins (17) than the record-holding LAFC squad (16), though they currently still have honors behind a season that ended with nine draws.
St. Louis CITY SC has been right on pace or above pace for the record for most of its inaugural campaign, helped largely by a historic five-game winning streak to open the season.
Though players and staff say the record would be nice, the team has sights set on longer-term goals.
“It’s been really special,” said CITY SC vice captain Tim Parker. “I think obviously the goal at the beginning of the year was to make the playoffs. At the time, it was a light at the end of the tunnel. But now we’re finally there. It’s been an enjoyable ride for sure, records broken and all, but there’s still work to do. It’s great to get to this point, but now we still got some stuff to do.”
Head coach Bradley Carnell says CITY SC has proven many around the soccer world wrong through its regular-season success, but says Decision Day and beyond is a chance to keep building upon that.
“I think you can only prove people wrong short-term,” said Carnell. “I think that’s a short-term solution if you’re trying to play and prove to the external world that they’re wrong. Over time, you get to show your quality, your resilience and show that you get to contribute and compete in this league.”
St. Louis will host the Seattle Sounders FC in its final regular season match. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. CT. Fans can catch the broadcast on AppleTV+ through MLS Season Pass or listen via radio at 98.1 FM.
Decision Day means St. Louis will play its match simultaneously with Western Conference teams, and the Eastern Conference contests will also be played simultaneously. Ultimately, the Decision Day matches will determine which teams make the playoffs, which teams are eliminated, and how teams are positioned going into the playoffs.