Year Founded: 2014, first season 2015
2016 record: 8W-10D-12L, 14th Western Conference
2016 playoffs: Did not qualify
Key additions: Seb Dalgaard from OKC Energy, Konrad Plewa from NYRBII, Christian Volesky from Rhinos
Key departures: Irvin Herrera to NY Cosmos, Parker Maher to Swope Park Rangers
Projected/ideal starting XI (4-4-2):
Devala Gorrick G
Erick Cabalceta D
Konrad Plewa D
AJ Cochran D
Wes Charpie D
Ivan Mirkovic M
Octavio Guzman M
Seb Dalgaard M
Dragan Stojkov M
Milan Petosevic F
Christian Volesky F
We're basically starting from scratch. Preki has swept the house clean, as after two midsummer slumps the past two seasons, STLFC sorely needed a reboot. Preki is bringing in his generals Mirkovic and Guzman to put his stamp on the team. Preseason has been a bit of a mixed bag, but it is to be expected with a team that has played together for less than six weeks.
Why you should watch Saint Louis FC in 2017:
Well, in a word: wins. The pressure is on after the disappointing two previous campaigns. The players brought in are consummate, USL-proven producers. The fans expect nothing less.
3 players to watch:
Devala Gorrick - Goalkeeper: He really needs no introduction after two stellar years with Switchbacks FC. I believe our goalkeepers have always improved under GK coach Brian Jones, and Gorrick should be no different. He figures to push Hildebrandt, Newton and Laurendi in consideration as best in the league.
Milan Petosevic - Forward: A relative unknown coming in from the Austrian leagues, but Preki has had his eye on this lad for a few years, and finally got his man. With his tall stride and bald head he is unmissable on the field. He is also quick. He scored an absolute cracker against Orlando City in preseason. I expect six-plus goals as a secondary striker, plus a bag of assists.
Ivan Mirkovic - Midfield: Captain. General. Winner. Everyone who has followed this league for awhile know his capabilities, but we love him already. He could tackle an in-flight nuclear warhead.
The 2017 season will be a success if...
Playoffs, baby. It's all about the playoffs, and having meaningful football in September and October. It will take time for this team to get all on the same page, however once it all clicks I really think we'll do very well.
Last year’s performance by Herrera aside, we've always had trouble scoring goals. With Jose Angulo, (from FTL Strikers) Petosevic and Volesky fighting it out, pushing each other for two spots up top, and Dalgaard behind, who can add a few himself, we are looking for more offensive threats.
Preseason guide, written before 3-0 loss to Tulsa on Saturday March 18th: