Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

After Back-to-Back 8-Win Seasons, STLFC to Make Changes

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

After Back-to-Back 8-Win Seasons, STLFC to Make Changes

Article excerpt

After two seasons of failing to live up to expectations, St. Louis FC is expecting a busy offseason.

Currently, the management team of the area's United Soccer League franchise is interviewing potential coaches with experience working with professional players.

"We're looking for someone who can energize and hopefully change the overall culture," STLFC general manager Jeremy Alumbaugh said. "I don't think anybody was satisfied with the results we've seen. It's time for a change and it's something we're excited about."

Executive director Patrick Barry agreed: "We needed to take a step back and try a different direction and I think the new coach, whoever it turns out to be, will play a major role in that. This isn't a rebuilding situation, we're not looking at a three- to five- year plan. We want to win and that means next season."

STLFC finished 8-12-10 this year after going 8-11-9 in its inaugural season.

Despite its struggles the team went just 2-7-5 over the final two months of the season STLFC remained in playoff contention late into this regular season.

"We never were able to put together any kind of a streak," said Alumbaugh, whose club won back-to-back league games just once in 2016. "We had a homestand at midseason where we had an opportunity to really make a statement, to really take control of our season. And unfortunately, we just didn't get it done."

In that stretch, which included six home games in seven outings, STLFC went 1-3-3 overall and 1-2-3 at World Wide Technology Soccer Park. At the end of that run, on Aug. 13, in front of a sellout crowd of 5,453, STLFC gave up three goals in the opening 17 minutes and went on to a 4-3 loss to Sacramento Republic.

Two days later, coach Dale Schilly was relieved of his duties, with top assistant Tim Leonard taking over as interim coach.

"It was a tough time for everybody, but professional sports are a result-based business," Barry said.

Under Leonard, a St. Louis Scott Gallagher product who starred at Mehlville High and St. Louis University, the club played better at times but finished the season 1-3-3.

"It wasn't something I wanted to happen I have a lot of respect for Dale and he's a good friend but I certainly gave it everything I had," Leonard said. …

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