Saint Louis FC Aren’t Going Home Yet

New York Red Bulls II Blasts Richmond Kickers

FENTON, MO. – The Fightin’ Chupacabras are not dead yet. Saint Louis FC came into this weekend with a simple situation: Beat Indy Eleven and you make the playoffs as the second place team in Group E. Draw or lose and you go home. The season is over. Saint Louis FC cease to exist.

Saint Louis FC Beat Indy Eleven, Make Playoffs, Extend Existence

Backing up, STLFC as a club and the fanbase have had a tortured existence. The team’s struggled on the field. They’ve missed the playoffs all but one year since joining the USL in 2015. That lone appearance was a one-and-done loss at Orange County that was made difficult by a first half red card. They’ve never won the Kings Cup against rival Louisville City FC.

The St. Louligans have been one of the best supporters groups in the USL Championship. The team’s done well at the turnstiles even when the team struggles. The club did a lot of good that made MLS come to St. Louis. STFLC deserved better as has the fanbase.

Going into this week, Steve Trittschuh’s side needed help. They had one game left against Indy, with Indy playing midweek against eliminated Sporting KC II. A winner at the death helped Kansas City win the game 2-1.

In most likely the last home game for STLFC, both teams came out in similar 3-4-3 setups. Indy played conservative, daring STLFC to break them down to win.

The early parts of the game mimicked the last game against Louisville: Lots of the ball, some good looks, but frustration in not having the final product.

That changed in the 35th minute. A turnover at the back saw Tyler Blackwood run into the ball in space with no defender between him and the goal. He set himself up for a shot at the top of the box and beat Evan Newton.

Perhaps karma for hard done officiating from games past were on their side for much of the game. A handball in the box was called on Indy just a minute into the second half. Wal Fall scored on the penalty.

Indy Eleven came out of their shell after that needing two goals less than 45 minutes to make the playoffs. Several decent chances and shouts for PKs in favor of the visitors saw tempers flare. They finally saw a call go their way as a penalty near the edge of the box was called in the 81st minute. Tyler Pasher scored to make it 2-1.

Indy was unable to complete the comeback. A team that in the past wilted under pressure, at the end of games, and in non-ideal circumstances to quality opponents held on. The final score was 2-1.

Saint Louis FC are going to the USL Championship Playoffs for just their second time ever. They’re not f-ing done. They’re not going home. They won’t survive 2020, but they aren’t going quietly.