I think we can all agree that local is best. Be it small scale shopping as opposed to Walmart or a small independent local brewery instead of Inbev. We all know what the right thing to do. After the explosion of the “greed is good” in the 80’s to the global marketplace of the 90’s, the 21st century on a local level is going against the grain now. Contracting to a neighborly way of thinking.

Soccer in St. Louis used to be like that. Without getting started on the history [again], We see the same old faces playing soccer around town. From the STL Pickup facebook group to Lions to Bordo to Ambush These players are local kids for the most part. Playing in the highest level of the game they can given the opportunities around them.

Enter Saint Louis FC. This is a new dawn, a new type of operation.
This team is going to pick up local talent. Mike Ambersley, Mark Pais, and Charles Renken have already been announced but they are going to be in the minority.
It was said to me “I think it is a big mistake if Saint Louis FC don’t get local talent”
Just what kind of thinking is that?
In the 3 years I’ve lived here, I’ve watched 4 semi-pro and professional mens teams made up of local talent and barely seen a winning season yet.

This team, from the front office and staff to the players on the field are going to employ the best personnel they can find. It matters not where they are from. However while talking to GM Jeremy Alumbaugh during the USA v Panama game, and a point that was reiterated at the AGM at Itap on the 21st of Feb. It is the Saint Louis state of mind he’s looking for.

We’ve heard it from Dale the type of player he wants. Work hard, come to training, professional, dedicated. That state of mind is definitely Saint Louis. but it is also Philadelphia, it is also Detroit and Cleveland. It is the farming communities of Nebraska and Kansas. So just because you didn’t grow up in Kirkwood, doesn’t mean you’re not local.
We are in the global marketplace for players. We’ll have players on the field with international caps, who were selected in the MLS draft, and have won national college championships.
This is for real, and having seen Oklahoma City Energy, Charleston Battery and Austin Aztex win their preseason friendlies against supposed superior opposition already, quite frankly we’re going to have to bring it.

Dale and Jeremy know this. They’re building this team and from the outside looking in, building us a good one.
My fear though is that Saint Louis won’t know. After years of paying top dollar to watch players we can see for free at Vetta, Saint Louis won’t know just how good this team is going to be. Of course, if we fly out of the traps beating all comers, they’ll soon catch on. However if it is a slow start, a stuttering start…… Against other great teams in their own right, I hope the casual fan understands the level of competition they’re watching.

I sincerely hope so. This can be the biggest ticket in town this summer, we’ve seen what can happen in Sacramento and Indianapolis. I suspect Jacksonville will make a similar splash in NASL too. We can be in that conversation. We want commentators in far flung cities to look at us with envy……. “Hey, have you seen what they’re doing in Saint Louis?”
It all starts on Saturday. A low key affair sure. But this is our time. We can all be there for the start of this. 1pm Korte Stadium. Be there. But be there with everything, be all in. It’s going to be cold, but remember in the middle of July when we’re burning up in 85F sweltering nights. You’ll be able to remember, the start. the cold, being there for it all when it first kicked off.

Don’t worry where the players are from. It matters not if they are local in the geographical sense, so long as they are local in the metaphorical sense. These lads will represent you. And we’ll best be in the stands representing them.

See you at the park.

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