Heart-breaking. Gut-wrenching. Utterly Tragic. We’ve said and felt it all this week. We’re all dealing with grief and, bottom line – it SUCKS. We’ve heard from our best frenemies in Louisville; SG members from Indy, New Mexico, San Antonio, and Kansas City; SGs from many levels of US Soccer; supporters from countries abroad, including England and Serbia; and players past and present. And we all feel the same thing – loss. In a general sense, take the club away from an SG and you might as well put the group on life-support. But I can tell you one thing: that won’t happen here.
Some of you might recall this is not the first time we’ve lost our main club – AC St. Louis only lasted one season, and that one season was our beginning. I’m not going to give you a history lesson on St. Louis soccer over the last 10 years of our existence because there are plenty of articles/photos/podcasts available on this site that will fill you in on all the details. What I’m here to do is give you a look ahead at these next two years, between the end of Saint Louis FC and the beginning of St. Louis CITY SC.
Existing teams in St. Louis: Saint Louis FC isn’t the only club Louligans supported over the years. There are quite a few amateur teams we currently frequent: St. Louis Lions, Club Atletico Saint Louis, St. Louis Maritsa FC, and our two women’s teams Fire & Ice SC, and St. Louis Lions. Some attend indoor Ambush games; some attend college games at SIUE or SLU. The point is, there’s still live soccer happening throughout the metro area and we’ll be there to support it.
Louligan Wanderers SG: I know visiting other cities won’t be the same without our own club to cheer for, but we’re gonna do it (COVID allowing). Imagine getting a bus or two and visiting Louisville, Indy, Memphis, or Kansas City without telling them we’re coming and cheering AGAINST the home club? And because we won’t have our own club (pour one out), we can expand and visit MLS cities like Chicago and Kansas City and do our own thing while visiting with their SGs. We can show up in Madison and hang with The Flock, or Chattanooga and visit our old friend Jeremy and some former players and be a total SiLly mess. Again, it’s not ideal but we can make *something* out of these next two years, and I think that something will be unprecedented and something we talk about for years to come.
Charity: Another big missing piece will be missing our charity collections, or Charity du Jour on a regular basis throughout the spring/summer/fall. We’ve donated to many over the years: St. Louis Foodbank, The Humane Society, NAMI, Autism Speaks, Colon Cancer Foundation, Human Rights Campaign, ACLU, The Trevor Project, Young Adults with Cancer, and many more. OG member Brad has taken this piece of our existence and made it what it is today – over $125,000 in the last 10 years. We wouldn’t be able to have this giant number if it weren’t for the people that stop by the merch tent at games and throw in $5 or $10, or our community partners such as 2nd Shift Brewing, Schlafly, West Community Credit Union, Sugarfire, and of course Saint Louis FC. How will we continue to add to this number over our ‘Wandering’ years? We’ll always have the Louligans v. AOSTL Charity Game, and we can always count on our community partners to help us raise money for those in need in our community. But if this Supporter’s Group can last 10 years through the thick and thin that is St. Louis soccer, we can most definitely find creative ways and new ideas.
So feel your sorrow the next few days or weeks, but start looking ahead. We’ve always made the best of situations, and this is no different. Don’t worry, we’re not going anywhere.