ST. LOUIS, Mo. – This Saturday will mark the 5th annual St. Louligans versus American Outlaws charity game held at World Wide Technology Soccer Park to collect canned food supplies for the St. Louis Area Food Bank.
The game was first started by St. Louligans Jason Patrylo and Pat Mahoney before Saint Louis FC was even founded as a way to support the local community and reconnect with fellow members during the long winter months. At the time, the St. Louligans were supporting USL PDL club St. Louis Lions in St. Charles which only played during the summer. With a reputation for being energetic, loud and rowdy during the St. Louis Lions games, Patrylo and Mahoney wanted to build the public image of the St. Louligans while staying true to themselves—passionate soccer fans that loved the game. They thought a pick-up soccer game during the winter would be a perfect way to stay connected and simply charge a donation to play. The St. Louis chapter of the American Outlaws had recently met the St. Louligans—with many members belonging to both groups—so they were a natural fit to be the opponents. When it came to picking a charity, Patrylo had volunteered at the St. Louis Area Foodbank through work and liked how the donations benefited people in need within the local community. He also thought that many people tended to forget about those needing the donations after the holidays during the cold winter months.
“That's basically how the first game came about,” said Patrylo. “The best part though is that was just the start. The American Outlaws and St. Louligans have created food drives, toy drives, charity fundraiser t-shirt sales, and so much more. Every St. Louligans’ tailgate has a charitable cause attached to it. To me, that's what we are all about: supporting our team, our community, and growing the beautiful game.”
“When the St. Louligans asked us to partner with them to help support such an amazing organization as the St. Louis Area Foodbank, it just made sense,” said American Outlaws-STL member Malia Dunbar. “We don’t have many events during the year so the charity game is something I personally look forward to. Whatever side you play for, at the end of the day, the real winner is the communities of people we’re helping with our donations.”
“Since most of us are also members of American Outlaws we thought it would be fun to have a match in the cold weather to support people who are actually fighting the cold weather on a daily basis,” said St. Louligans member Bradley DeMunbrun. “A little bit of suffering on our part to support a good cause. Every year the event gets bigger with more people playing and watching which has led to bigger donation totals. We really want to thank STLFC for providing us the venue for the game.”
This year’s game will be held on Saturday, January 5th on Field 3 as the main stadium field is being replaced with new turf. Kick-off is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. CT and the game is a loosely played, “pick-up” style game with the cost of admission being a donation of a non-perishable food item. Online donations are also accepted by clicking HERE.
The club will be supporting the players and fans who come out to donate with food and beverage specials throughout the event, including turkey chili being available for purchase. There is also a drink special package available for $10 which includes $5 being donated to the St. Louis Area Foodbank. In addition to the food and beverage specials, there will be new merchandise available in the Fan Shop and the televisions in the Soccer Park Grill will be showing the FA Cup games.
“The club is happy to support this great event over the past couple of years,” said STLFC Vice-President & General Manager Jeremy Alumbaugh. “It's always an eventful game, but an even better event to see so many people come together to support our community. In many ways, this game is the kick-off for soccer each year in St. Louis and credit to the St. Louligans and American Outlaws for all the work they put into it.”
“The St. Louligans have been so great to work with in the past, with all the time and effort that they put into the event,” said St. Louis Area Foodbank Coordinator Will Beshore. “Last year they provided 1,633 meals to families in the St. Louis area, and I’m excited to see how they’ll do this year. This game is a really great way to give back to the community and have some fun and it’s all because of the hard work the St. Louligans put into it.”