The Season Is Over.
OK, so we had a crazy season, but on the whole I’d say it was a great year. No, we didn’t make the playoffs. No, we didn’t average 5000 in attendance. And no, we’re not even sure that we’ll be back for a season #2. But let’s ignore all that for the time being. We did have a lot of fun. Professional outdoor soccer came back to St. Louis. Our team came together to give us something to cheer about at the end of the season after a rocky start. The players were great humans and cared about our support. And most importantly, we made a lot of friends that hopefully will still be in tact years from now when the Louligans are making noise at an AC STL game.
If you missed the last game, you missed the first annual St. Louligan awards. Over the course of the last several home games we took an unscientific poll at the tailgate parties and elected our players of the year. We decided that the players had given so much to us over the course of the season that we wanted to reward a few of them. So, even though it was “fan appreciation” day at AB Soccer Park- we decided to celebrate our special day by appreciating our team. A few of us talked online and worked to get some sponsors to pay for the awards and we made a few phone calls to get on the program. Without further ado, I present our award winners.
Offensive player of the year was a near unanimous decision. Mike Ambersley embodied the offense and killer instinct of our first year. He won a special place in our hearts early this season when he scored a killer goal in Portland and mocked their crowd with a little Lumberjack dance of his own. That’s how the St. Louligans like it. Great to score, but even better to taunt your victims. Floodplain Footy‘s Steve Rusnack and Nik Cameron presented Mike with the award. Floodplain Footy has become the go to source for information about AC St. Louis and I encourage all of you to subscribe to their reports and become a fan on facebook. Honorable mention here goes to Luke Kreamalmeyer who led the team in assists and set up a lot of those Ambersley strikes.
Defensive player of the year was also a runaway winner. #1, Alec Dufty, The Duftman. Dufty also earned respect early in the season by constantly keeping us in games that sometimes should have been far out of reach. Clean sheets were plentiful with Duftman in the pipes and our biggest worry with Alec is that an MLS team will steal him away. (After I wrote this, Dufty was loaned out to Chicago Fire for the remainder of the MLS season- am I psychic or what?) Chants of “OOOOOOOH! YEAH!” accompanied every goal kick this year and hopefully we’ll be yelling it again next season. Tigin Irish Pub and Restaurant stepped up to the plate to sponsor this award and the lovely and talented Jen Grant presented. Stop by and see Jen at Tigin to catch a game on the telly among other soccer friends at Tigin. All the big matches and leagues are on TV at Tigin.
And last but not least, Fan Favorite. This could have gone any number of directions. In addition to Ambersley and Dufty it seemed like we all made connections with different players this year. Literally half the team could have won Fan Favorite, but in the end- there can be only one. (Kinda like the Highlander) It ended up being Captain Jack Traynor. We all love Jack and the way he plays. He’s the captain of the team and he always made time to say hello to the fans. But I think the deal clincher was when he was out on a yellow card suspension and he came up to sit with the St. Louligans in Section 20. Are you kidding me? No I am not. You won’t get that in MLS boys and girls. Our players love the fans. So Captain Jack wins the prize. In addition to a lovely plaque, Captain Jack got his very own St. Louligan T-shirt. He is ONE OF US! St. Louis Tattoo Company presented this award and Kyle, my tattooed friend, presented it to Jack. Kyle is an amazing artist and is currently painting skin there at the St. Louis Tattoo Company. Click their link for more info and ask for Kyle if you need a tattoo. Tell him you’re a Louligan and he’ll be nicer to you.
So that’s it. Thats the first season in the books. Watch this site, Floodplain Footy, and the Chickenhead facebook page to keep up to speed in the off season. We’re planning a few St. Louligan get togethers in the off season and we hope to see you all there. We’re thinking indoor soccer and roller derby will keep us in shape until next spring. Until then- stay loud my friends.