ST. LOUIS — Saturday’s inaugural game at CITYPARK was a first for many reasons, except for a St. Louis City win. The expansion team had already shocked Major League Soccer last weekend with a 3-2 win in Austin, and they followed it up with a 3-1 victory over Charlotte FC in front of a sellout crowd of 22,423.
Despite conceding the first goal of the night to Enzo Copetti, St. Louis never faltered. Their pressing style of play was once again on display and it paid off late in the first half as Charlotte FC defender Bill Tuiloma sent an errant header past goalkeeper Pablo Sisniega.
Party on, St. Louis. The fans didn’t care how it happened, but that first official home goal for City was just the beginning. A few moments later at the end of the first half they were rewarded a penalty kick and midfielder Eduard Löwen buried it to take the advantage into the break.
Oddly similar to last week, St. Louis benefited from a brutal mistake from the opponent’s defense as a pass back fell to João Klauss’ feet and he chipped into the back of the net. The star designated player and team celebrated in front of the North End supporters’ section for the first time.
Was there some luck involved? Sure. But what matters are the results and right now the newest team in the league is undefeated and atop the Western Conference standings.
As the season goes along. There will be bumps in the road. The opponent, Charlotte, is just in its second year and those growing pains are a testament to how tough expansion in MLS can be.
St. Louis doesn’t care about any of that, certainly not tonight. The home opener was as close to perfect as it gets. Their record? Now that’s perfection.
Two games, two wins. And a lot more to go.