The 2023 MLS season is one that is going to be rather exciting for a number of reasons in St. Louis, but perhaps none more so than the fact that it is scheduled to be the inaugural campaign for the newly formed St Louis City SC!
The state of Missouri already hosts a number of professional sports teams, with the likes of the Kansas City Chiefs (NFL), Kansas City Royals, and St. Louis Cardinals in the MLB, as well as the St. Louis Blues in the NHL.
Sporting Kansas City also plays in the state as an MLS franchise; however, there is a new team in town, with St Louis City SC already assembling a squad that they will feel can compete from the immediate get-go!
Experienced Players and a Mixture of Youth Already at St Louis City SC
There is a famous saying in the UK regarding soccer that states you can not win anything with kids; something that has been disputed and perhaps even proved wrong in some instances throughout history since it was infamously said.
However, it would be wise to suggest that there is an element of truth to it, as well. This is perhaps something almost everyone who watches and enjoys professional sports know, and why the newly formed franchise has opted for some experience in key positions ahead of their inaugural 2023 MLS start.
Indeed, they perhaps do not come as experienced as the goalkeeper that has been signed, with Roman Bürki a recognizable name in European soccer. The shot-stopper is an experienced international after representing Switzerland many times throughout a career that saw him represent clubs as big as Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund in 200+ matches during his time in Germany; a club in which he managed to win the DFB-Pokal on two occasions, as well as the DFL-Supercup on one occasion.
Elsewhere, Eduard Löwen is another player that has experience playing in Germany’s top league, as does Joakim Nilsson. Ghanaian Joshua Yaro and Jared Stroud will also be expected to help the squad in the upcoming season, as both of them have previous experience of playing in the MLS.
However, when looking through the rest of the St. Louis City SC squad, it appears rather clear that they want to focus on players that are still in the earliest stages of their careers, which is perhaps why can help them to achieve success as this group of lads will want to show how desperate they are to succeed.
Which Younger Players are the Ones to Keep an Eye On in 2023?
Of course, while the squad is young, that does not mean that there is no talent to take a closer look at and be excited to see what can be produced on the field once they begin playing in the MLS as of the 2023 season.
John Nelson is one of the prime examples of a player who might be young but has shown that he has plenty of ability when playing for his team. An arrival from FC Cincinnati, he is a player that had managed to have a solid campaign in America’s top league last season. He was a part of the team that had qualified for the postseason, and he would have potentially been a player some in the state would have been hoping could have helped them achieve again in the upcoming season.
With sports betting in Ohio soon to be legal, there will be more attention on the teams from the state as punters will be expected to be able to place wagers on the clubs that represent them in the MLS from the 2023 season onwards and some would have hoped Nelson would have been an individual that would have been able to help them with that. Nonetheless, those in Ohio might be interested in keeping tabs on him at St Louis City SC now, as he could have an impact with the newest MLS member.
A defender who also previously played for FC Dallas, he is a player that some have touted to have success in the past as he managed to represent the USMNT at every age group bar the senior squad, however, there will be many that will be hoping his time in St. Louis can help him to break into that team in the future finally.
Another exciting player to have been signed by the new expansion club is Nicholas Gioacchini, with the player already known to many who follow the USMNT. While he may only be 22 years old, the winger/attacker has already managed to turn out for the men’s national team on eight occasions, scoring three goals. He was a part of the 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup roster, too.
He arrives back in Missouri after being born in the state following time away in France and Orlando, Florida, after being selected in the 2022 MLS Expansion Draft and is a bright talent that has already shown how good he can be on the soccer field when given the opportunity to perform. In fact, for many, he will be the main talent to watch in 2023.
24-year-old Selmir Pidro might not necessarily be categorized as a young player in regard to age – much like Nelson – however he is still relatively young and an interesting player to keep an eye on. He has been a full international for Bosnia & Herzegovina in the past, and was the first signing to have been made by St. Louis City SC as an MLS franchise.
He will be a player to keep an eye on as there will be a sense of intrigue and excitement about what he can bring to the franchise, especially as he was the first player to be signed since acquiring their MLS status.
Will St. Louis City SC be Able to Have a Positive Season?
Naturally, only time will be able to tell us as to whether St. Louis City SC will be able to have a positive inaugural campaign in the MLS in 2023. However, with the players that they have on the roster at the moment, it would not be a surprise if they were to make life difficult for the teams that they face, while the crowds in Missouri will certainly get behind the team each time they take to the field.