After 91 games and 113 goals for the St Louis Storm, Predrag Radosavljevic, otherwise known as Preki has once again decided to make Saint Louis his home, becoming the third coach of Saint Louis FC replacing interim coach Tim Leonard.
This will be Preki’s second stint in charge of a United Soccer League club after taking charge of Sacramento Republic in their inaugural 2014 season which was capped with an impressive run to the Championship. Preki resigned from the Republic midway through the 2015 season as rumors swirled he was favored to take control of Leicester City after the firing of Nigel Pearson. That wasn’t to be, and Preki has laid low since, and famously instigating the hashtag #WheresPreki on social media.
Well, we’ve #FoundHim, and let’s be honest here, Preki is the biggest name in the American soccer sphere that was feasibly attainable to lead our players into the third season and accolades must go to the club for making it so. Nobody can be underwhelmed with this appointment.
Indeed, I spoke to Josh Beeman of indomitable city soccer about the hiring and he was enthused. “That’s awesome news for you guys” Josh quipped.
“Preki presided over arguably the most successful inaugural year that USL has ever seen. While the Republic made headlines for their success in the stands, Preki put together a team that impressed on the field. Under Preki, Republic was a strong offensive team that was vulnerable on counter attacks because they pushed a lot of players forward. Although they didn’t concede too many goals, they were a team built for the 2-1 or 3-2 win much more than the 1-0 win or 0-0 draw. In fact, Preki almost never settled for a draw when there was a possibility of a win. In 50 USL games under Preki, Republic only tied 7 times. I’m not sure how much of the style Preki had with Sacramento will be brought over to St Louis, but if he can find the players he wants I would expect a pretty exciting, attacking-minded team in 2017.”
That sounds like music to my ears. How about yours?
Along with Sacramento, Preki has extensive managerial credentials in MLS with Chivas USA and Toronto FC.
Preki’s playing days are wide ranging and all encompassing, playing in Belgrade for Red Star where he grew up, Sweden, England with Everton and Portsmouth, Winning 2 MLS MVP awards with Kansas City Wizards, and vast indoor experience with Tacoma, San Jose and St Louis.
Preki represented the United States national team 28 times and scored 4 goals.