(Editorial) – Saint Louis FC‘s inaugural season has been bitter sweet. The on field performance has been underwhelming. They have been eliminated from playoff contention. They have only two home wins in USL play and have won only once in the last eight games.
Off the field, the team has been a rousing success. They are 4th in attendance in 2015, averaging 4,755 fans per game in spite of the frustrating results on the field. They’ve been championed by their supporters group, the St. Louligans and they have been active contributors to the community.
Last Hurrah: Saint Louis FC’s Kings Cup Finale
The last two matches have been defensive slogs. The team had an uninspiring 2-0 loss to the Rochester Rhinos in which the players appeared to quit and wilt in the second half. This past weekend against the Harrisburg City Islanders, they did an excellent jobs executing the game plan. That plan resulted in a 0-0 draw and the attack continued to be stalled and sporadic.
With the future of several players and even head coach Dale Schilly (for the record, I firmly believe he deserves another year), what left does this team have to play for? The last game of the season: Saint Louis FC’s Kings Cup bought with Louisville City FC.
Louisville City is having a dream inaugural season. They have had excellent success at the box office and are second the USL, behind only league leading Rochester. They are led by Golden Boot Leader, Matt Fondy, who has 22 goals in 26 games this season. They are ahead in the Kings Cup standings with a 1-0-2 record, with a +2 goal differential.
It is cliche for a team out of the playoffs to signify their last regular season game as their playoffs or their championship final. It’s less forced when it is against a rival and team that is going to the playoffs.
The club has nothing to lose and everything to gain. A win against Louisville City would give them something to feel good about going into the off season. While it’s about as likely as Tom Cruise surviving another ‘Mission Impossible‘ movie, a victory by three goals or more would win the inaugural Kings Cup (Louisville holds the tie breaker on away goals). That would be a huge accomplishment for the club and probably the best win of the season.
On an individual level, several players could be playing for a contract in 2016. A good finish to the season will be critical for several midfielders and forwards on this team.
The season may be over, but there’s still plenty to play for.