The student news site of Ritenour High School.

Ritenour Live

The student news site of Ritenour High School.

Ritenour Live

The student news site of Ritenour High School.

Ritenour Live

St. Louis City completes successful first season

Jocelyn Garrido
Social studies teacher Chris Stein has St. Louis City paraphernalia up in his classroom. Many of the staff and students have embraced the new professional sports team in St. Louis.

As St. Louis City SC finished their inaugural season, students and staff of Ritenour were eager to show their support and love towards the team. 

 The St.Louis City SC team is making a life-changing difference in just their first season since expansion, especially for the people of St. Louis.  Their determination as a team led them to place as the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.  The people at Ritenour agree they’ve made major progress and can’t wait for more from the City. 

 “Our team is already making history. It’s really awesome, and I was looking forward to all of their games”, stated Lalani Bazan.

The season started a rivalry with Sporting Kansas City.  Their first interaction with their new rival resulted in a 4-0 victory for St. Louis City. Not too long after, a rivalry was fueling up between the team’s fan bases. Ultimately, it was Sporting Kansas City who ended St. Louis City’s season in the playoffs. 

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“The Sporting City games were fun, I look forward to them a lot,” social studies teacher Michael Murray said. “The atmosphere was great and mainly the Kansas City games were the best ones this year to go to, especially the season opener.”

It was a long process with obstacles to get the MLS to the city of St.Louis until a majority female-led team was granted an expansion franchise in August of 2019. Carolyn Kindle, the president and CEO of St. Louis City, the Taylor Family (Founders of Enterprise Rent-A-Car), and Jim Kavanaugh (World Wide Technology CEO and co-founder) were the leaders of the group that helped get the team. 

They helped build CITYPARK, which has 22,500 seats giving a wide and transparent view of the view surrounding the city. It provides fans the experience of general seating, a supporters’ club, and diverse premium offerings, along with plazas in the area for after-events, street vendors, and local food and beverage establishments.  

In addition to the new facilities, the team created a buzz with a winning season. The team won a total of 17 games in their first season, the best for any expansion team. Social studies teacher Christopher Stein believed that the experience at the games is unmatched, whether the team won or lost. He attended many games at CITYPARK, but noted that even after losing to Portland on April 29, the crowd was still fantastic.

“It was the best three hours of my life. I danced the whole time and chanted even though we lost. It was still the best night ever,” Stein said. 

Many of the wins would not have been possible without the players on the roster for this season. Some are Ritenour staff and student favorites, in particular Roman Bürki, João Klauss, and Eduard Löwen.  

Bürki previously played for Borussia Dortmund making many appearances even in the UEFA Champions League.  When a new, younger goalkeeper was signed, it left Bürki with less play time.  On the other side, he was the perfect match for what City was looking for in 2023. Brazilian striker João Klauss was the first player to reach 10 goals making history in St.Louis. He was also the first player in St. Louis history to be Player of the Matchday, awarded to the most outstanding player in a match, presented by Continental Tire. 

“Klaus is awesome, he scores constantly, and Burki, he’s just a phenomenal keeper. It’s good to have somebody that big between the posts,” Stein said. 

Eduard Löwen moved around and transferred until he found his home, being with his fifth club. He quickly was welcomed by staff, teammates, and the city. He was even named to the MLS’s Team on match day presented by Audi. Löwen has been one of the stars of the season as an underrated player on the roster. He was Murray’s favorite player. 

“Edward Lowen is a really high-class player, and I think he’s the best player on our team,” Murray said. 

Bazan is proud of the success of the team in its first year and thinks that it is helping to bring the community together. 

“ I feel like in general Missouri itself doesn’t get enough recognition let alone St. Louis so it definitely brings a lot more attention, a lot of spirit to the St. Louis City community, and everyone can come together and hang out,” Bazan said.

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