·25 September 2023
·25 September 2023
St Louis City continue to defy the odds in their inaugural season in Major League Soccer with head coach Bradley Carnell at the helm.
It's taken just one season for St Louis to adjust to life in MLS, and they've done so in spectacular fashion.
Carnell's side are in first place in the Western Conference table with an impressive 53 points and have built up a +19 goal difference. But they've also lost 10 times, which is a telling statistic as it shows they can still improve despite everything they've accomplished thus far.
St Louis were the first Western Conference team to clinch a spot in the playoffs after their 0-0 draw with 2022 MLS Cup champions LAFC. But under Carnell and after a 2-1 road win over Minnesota United, just making the postseason isn't enough for their liking.
"From day one we spoke about being competitive and I think we've proved that," Carnell said after the draw with LAFC."Then we started thinking, 'Alright if we can scratch the eighth or ninth spot, it would be awesome too.' Then we just continuously picked up points and were consistent."
However, once St Louis started picking up positive results earlier in the campaign, a new goal was set: making the playoffs.
"And then, yes, expectations were to make the playoffs. We checked that box. Now what's next for us? Can we now get a top-four finish? Once we get that box checked, then can we win the Western Conference? So it's all things in baby steps and stages," Carnell added.
Should the league's newest club win two more games before the playoffs start, they would break LAFC's record for most points by a team in their first ever season that was set in 2018 with 57 points.
After their win at Allianz Field, St Louis has already tied the Black and Gold's record set for most wins in an inagaural season with 16.
"We've created something that people respect and I think that's what we wanted to achieve, just to get our spot in the league, to get respect, to be competitive," the South Africa native said. "I think we showed that all last night against the Rolls Royce of the league (LAFC). We get a point from it, not three. But I think we grew a lot more and one more step in the right direction."
St Louis, alone at the top of the Western Conference, aim to finish in first place in their division as they take on Sporting Kansas City on September 30 at CITYPARK.