7 months ago From stlpublicradio.org
From From stlpublicradio.org:
It’s 10 a.m. on a Saturday and soccer fans fill the Amsterdam Tavern in south city, a bar known for opening before most people wake up on the weekend.
On this day three English Premier League matches are showing on mounted TVs, but the big attraction is Arsenal vs. Fulham. Nearly everyone has a beer in hand.
When Arsenal scores the bar erupts in cheers.
"Arsenal is pretty popular in this area," explains Mitch Morice, co-founder of the soccer supporter group the St. Louligans.
Morice has two scarves draped around his neck. One is the red, white and blue scarf of the American Outlaws, a die-hard group of U.S. soccer supporters. The other scarf is green and yellow with the signature St. Louligan skull and cross-bones.
The St. Louligans first came together in 2010 to support the city's short-lived, outdoor professional team, AC-St. Louis. When that club folded after just one season, Morice says the Louligans were the silver lining.
"There were people coming down here to watch the morning games, but they didn’t have anything local. There was nothing binding them together," Morice said. "... But we were all St. Louis fans for one year. Now it’s something for us to build on. So if we do get a pro team, it’s just going to be insane."
But getting a Major League Soccer team here is the Holy Grail.