Words and photos by Duane Clawson
Contributed by Duane Clawson
For the past three years, the St. Louis Ambush have been St. Louis’s sole provider of the community’s need for a soccer team. When the St. Louis Steamers ceased operations in 2006, the city was soccerless until the Ambush formed in 2013. One of the team’s co-owners and head coach, Tony Glavin, is a name that is not unfamiliar to St. Louis soccer fans. A former North American Soccer League standout, Glavin has continued to promote soccer in the St. Louis area by continuous involvement in youth soccer development programs.
The struggles of the Ambush, over the last three years, have been the same as many other St. Louis minor league soccer teams of the past. Promotion, talent, and finding a steady head coach are a few of the challenges the team has faced since its inception. With an average attendance of 2,573 during the 2016 – 2017 season, the Ambush placed fourth out of five teams in fan participation.
The end of this past season found the Ambush in the dumps, with a less than stellar 1-19 record. Unfortunately, this record is not reflective of the excitement an indoor soccer match provides.
Being somewhat of rejuvenated soccer fan, after taking in last year’s Liverpool F.C. vs A.S. Roma exhibition match in Busch Stadium, I made my way to the Family Arena in St. Charles to catch the season finale: Ambush versus the Baltimore Blast. As exciting as it was covering the big boys of soccer in a large stadium last year, the Ambush provide a similar excitement on a much smaller scale.
Baltimore posted the first tally in the opening period on a goal by Andrew Hoxie. Scoring was nonexistent until the fourth period when Baltimore struck again with goal number two. Two and half minutes later the Ambush scored their only goal on a penalty kick by midfielder, Lucas Almeida. The Blast sealed the deal with empty net goal, provided by the colorful Nelson Santana.
After a less than stellar 16-17 season concluded, the team’s majority owner, Shelly Clark, issued a 2017 – 2018 manifesto, which places blame as a combined effort:
“Together We did it. The past four months for the St. Louis Ambush were difficult and challenging, and at times, downright brutal. But as a single unit we’ve banded together and, despite the tumult and turmoil, battled to get to today still standing.
But that does not mean we’re happy; quite the opposite. As challenging as it might have been, we remain terribly disappointed with the outcome. 1-19 is not good enough for the fans, the community, and the players. We all deserve more and deserve better, and henceforth this club will embody an undeniable spirit of sweat, perseverance, and ultimately, victory.
That spirit is the ‘Culture of We’.”
As the cost of attending a major-league sporting event continues to rise, the value of attending a minor-league sports franchise event continues to rise, we all deserve more and deserve better!
Thanks to the Ambush for allowing MTC MAG in the doors, and the Family Arena for opening the doors! Photos of the match are below:
Contributed by Duane Clawson
St. Louis Ambush vs. Baltimore Blast @ Family Arena, St. Charles, MO Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on 1:00:00 PM Rating: