ST. LOUIS, Mo. – The United Soccer League (USL) announced on Friday that Saint Louis FC will compete in the Western Conference for the 2018 USL season. The season is expected to begin the third week of March, with the full 2018 schedule set to be released at a future date.
Saint Louis FC last competed in the Western Conference in the 2016 USL season, during which time the club finished with 34 points and an overall record of 8-12-10. The team relied on homefield advantage and was undefeated at Toyota Stadium – Saint Louis through its first seven home games, suffering only four defeats out of 15 home matches that season.
Saint Louis FC will look forward to renewing local rivalries with the Swope Park Rangers, OKC Energy FC, and Tulsa Roughnecks FC. The club will face new opposition in its return to the West with Reno 1868 FC having joined the Western Conference last year, and the addition of Fresno FC and Las Vegas Lights FC for the 2018 season. Notable players who play in the Western Conference include Didier Drogba and Billy Forbes at Phoenix Rising FC, Antoine Hoppenot at Reno 1868 FC, and Chandler Hoffman at Real Monarchs SLC.
“We are looking forward to the challenges and opportunities of the Western Conference,” said Jeremy Alumbaugh, STLFC Vice President and General Manager. “Having previously played in the West, we are familiar with many of the clubs and that will help with our transition. In addition, this move will help us become familiar with clubs that will most likely be in a Central Conference in 2019, a direction the league appears to be moving toward in the future.”