Best Fans in Soccer?


I know right, you probably read the headline and thought, “here we go, another self congratulatory piece, aren’t we great? Aren’t we fantastic……”

Well no. Honestly this is far from that. Granted, if you support our local teams be it Saint Louis FC, or Fire and Ice, Lions, or Ambush to the college powerhouses like SLU or SIUe. This article isn’t aimed at you. You go to games. You pay your dues.

I wonder however, if we suffer from a little of the crossover from the Cardinals and their fans syndrome? You know the one, where your Cardinals mad relative will talk at length about how classy the fans are, how knowledgeable the fans are, how supportive the fans are. Yet the same guy will only go to one game a year. Do we have some of this here in our sport?

The mystique is right there. 1950, the Hill, Harry Keough, 10 open cup winners, every World Cup having an STL native in the USMNT they’ve qualified for. The ingredients are all there for a Soccer City cocktail. So where is everyone?

You cannot have games in this city where the teams are struggling for attendance and call yourself a soccer city. The Lions play in front of empty bleachers, the Ambush attendance isn’t what they claim it is, maybe 18 months ago it was, certainly not last season. “But Matt, they don’t play downtown, They play in St Charles and Belleville. It is 95 degrees, it is graduation season.” Excuses.

FC Bordo played downtown and 100 people showed up. That’s not the response of a soccer city.

Simply put, 20,000 people going to watch fly by night friendlies or the occasional national team game does not a soccer city make. Being 4th in TV markets for a world cup once every 4 years does not a soccer city make. Sitting at home waiting for MLS does not make you a soccer fan.

Supporting your club does, through thick and thin. Supporting your city’s team does. Last season and the celebration of sellouts at the end of the year has long since gone. 4700 at the last game is frankly nothing to write home about. Especially when other clubs like Cincinnati are killing it. Can you honestly tell me, even if tickets were considerably cheaper and we had the venue that Saint Louis FC would get 20,000 fans? No way. This team is immeasurably better than last season yet we cannot fill up the venue we have.

Too many people are quick to point out that Saint Louis is a soccer city. Yet all too often they will sit home and let others do the work of making it so. With the rumors swirling around of a Major League Soccer expansion being made anytime, I do think there is a mentality of wake me up when MLS comes to town. I can’t stand by that. It is an excuse not to go to games. When and if MLS arrives there will be a new excuse not to go. You’ll sit at home saying Saint Louis is a soccer city whilst watching home games on television. Allowing others to do the leg work while you smugly brag to anyone who will listen.

Taylor Twellman said it best at the Ted panel discussion; “1950 has gone. It’s time to make history again rather than living off it.”

Go to games. Even if it is a team I don’t support.

Comments (10)

The problem here is that St Louis does not consider itself a minor league city. We’ve had minor league teams come and go. An MLS team would do great, no doubt.

In life, it doesn’t matter what a person or city considers themselves. Actions, however, determine what a person or city truly is.

If you love the game and want to see it played at a high level, in a strong league, with the best sporting envirinment in this city you will be at Saint Louis FC games. If you want to sit back and wait for an MLS team, you will probably never get one.

Good job buddy, way to give the MLS a reason not to come to STL. It’s minor league soccer, look at minor league attendance in any sport and you will find a similar fan base. It’s always hard to draw a crowd no matter what city you’re in. I’m also not driving to St. Charles to see a game, revitalize the downtown area. Build a MLS stadium there and people will come, the city needs it. Shut up and stop writing negative articles about the city you live in. Especially STL who has had such a tough go the past couple years, we need this. Don’t be an idiot!

I mean… I get while you’re this upset about this piece — after all, you’re precisely the type of “fan” that the author is calling out.

It’s very easy to blindly refer to your hometown as a great soccer (or sports) town; it’s easier still to sit back and let others do the work of living up to that billing. But the cold, harsh reality is that virtually 100% of people who say “my city has the best fans” not only have a massively inflated sense of self-worth, but also don’t love their teams (or even their city) nearly as much as they love to hype themselves up to anyone who would listen.

It’s much more difficult to put in the work toward making sure your city can actually live up to that hype. Most shirk from that responsibility — and those who don’t, well, they tend to not get caught up in the “best fans in _______” nonsense. Because for them, it’s all about backing their teams, first and foremost.

Yes, it is my fault that we won’t have an MLS team…. MLS will most be impressed and come here if our attendances continue to be worse than Chattanooga TN and Grand Rapids MI.

It fills Don Garbers heart with joy.

Who are you to tell me what to write? This isn’t a place for PR spin. This is a place to tell it exactly how it is.

And no I won’t compare to other minor league sports. I’ll compare to other cities Iona similar soccer market to us that are leaving us in their dust.

MLS already has plenty of reasons not to come to Saint Louis; biggest being the extra 15,000-16,000 ticket buyers that aren’t showing themselves. If we really have the fans to sell 19,000-20,000 tickets per game, we need them to see it. Cincy is eating our lunch right now.

But, don’t listent to me. I’m one of the people that hopes MLS goes elsewhere so that I can keep enjoying the hell out of STLFC.

Awful article. STLFC is doing all they can and are drawing pretty well. The other teams listed, no one cares about. Sorry I don’t want to go to the awful Family Arena for indoor shot soccer.

Also, I know many people that would love to go but never know when games are. I believe they should do better at getting the word out their so more than a select group of fans know it’s actually going on.

You just typed this into the Internet, which can also be used to check websites and social media pages?!? Do you expect the team to call you on the phone and personally invite you to the game? Maybe send a car?

I am a STLFC season ticket member and faithful St. Louligan. I have made it to all home games so far this year except the first one. I did enjoy the tailgate before, and during the game, but the last two games have not been a pleasurable experience because of some of the security staff at WWT Soccer Park. I have marched to the gate with the Louligans, waited in line for them to scan our tickets and let us in. This process is taking longer than is should. They know we are coming. Every game. To the same gate. Same time, every time. Why does it take so long to get in? Well the last two games, STLFC has had overreaching security guards there to harass the Louligans and make entering the park and awful experience. Once particular security guard stands there and harasses people. Then he found a water bottle on someone. He acted like he was protecting a plane from a being hijacked for stopping an elderly gentleman with a water bottle. IT was 98 degrees that day and he was so proud of himself for stopping this gentleman from drinking water on a hot day. We now have the craft corner by us but they do not sell water. Why are the Louligans getting harassed but the water police, when they should be thanking us for being the best fans of the organization? If I stop coming to games, it will be directly because I have had enough of STLFC staff harassing the Louligans when we are just trying to get into the park and to our seats as a group.

Here is a Hint, staff. We will be coming in a half hour before the whistle. Please expedite our entry, and stop harassing the Louligans and stop acting like when you stop a 60 year old man with water, it is like stoping missles from going to Iran.

IT my seats are empty, it because I don’t appreciate how the staff is treating the Louligans.

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