Friday, January 12, 2007

St. Louis will have a pro soccer team by 2008

Jeff Cooper (pictured), the man leading the effort to land a MLS franchise for St. Louis, has confirmed that professional soccer will be playing in St. Louis by 2008, however it might not be in MLS.

"We're going to play pro soccer in St. Louis in 2008 no matter what,'' he said. "We're working hard to get a proper stadium and get the league to have a reasonable number for the expansion fee. At the same time, we're working with the USL (United Soccer Leagues) Division I and youth organizations and trying to put that together."

Earlier this week, the city of Collinsville, Illinois, 15 miles outside of St. Louis, announced that they were very interested in building a soccer stadium, however they would need some money from the state. Cooper feels that, even with just 16-months till the 2008 season kicks off, they have enough time to get the stadium built and put a team together.

In addition to a men’s team, Cooper and company are open to the idea of having a women's pro team in the new WUSA. "We are very heavily involved in the re-establishment of the WUSA," Cooper said.

St. Louis needs professional soccer and it is good to see a group willing to make it happen. What would be really fun to see would be them landing both a MLS and WUSA team. Why not bring the two together?

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