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St. Louis CITY SC 2023 Season Preview

St. Louis CITY SC: 2023 CITY Kit

Armchair Analyst's Breakdown

  • Strength: Between sporting director Lutz Pfannenstiel and head coach Bradley Carnell, they have a clear vision of how they want to play – it’ll be Energy Drink Soccer. And as we’ve seen over the years, playing that kind of full-throttle pressing system is a good way to make up for a potential talent deficit during the season.
  • Weakness: On paper, this team will be at a clear talent deficit against almost everyone they line up against. Maybe it doesn’t play out that way – maybe the likes of Tomás Ostrák and Isak Jensen tear it up. Those are massive “ifs.”

Key Departures

  • None! The expansion team is just getting going.

Key Acquisitions

  • Roman Bürki: Longtime Borussia Dortmund starting goalkeeper Roman Bürki left Germany for the United States over the summer, signing for St. Louis CITY. He made 233 appearances for Dortmund, including 33 in the UEFA Champions League. He also earned nine caps for Switzerland. Bürki is probably the most recognizable signing for the newcomers.
  • João Klauss: Another Bundesliga import, DP forward João Klauss joined from Hoffenheim after a few loans, most recently in Belgium. He scored goals in Austria, Belgium, Finland and Germany (with Hoffenheim’s second team). The 25-year-old is expected to be the club’s leading scorer.
  • Tim Parker: Veteran MLS center back Tim Parker reunites with head coach Bradley Carnell after the duo worked together at the New York Red Bulls. Parker spent the last two years in Houston, where he made 62 starts over two seasons with the Dynamo before an Expansion Draft-day trade.
  • Njabulo Blom: South Africa international Njabulo Blom is a tenacious defensive midfielder who joined from South African powerhouse Kaizer Chiefs. The 23-year-old made 94 appearances for the club and will be St. Louis’s midfield anchor alongside Eduard Löwen, another Bundesliga import and their second DP.
  • Joakim Nilsson: Center back Joakim Nilsson was among the club’s marquee additions, though he’s currently injured until the summer. The 29-year-old Sweden international was acquired from Arminia Bielefeld after two seasons in the Bundesliga.
  • Full roster

Projected Starting XI

Season preview - 2023 - STL lineup


  • Marcelo Balboa: 14th in West
  • Charles Boehm: 14th in West
  • Tom Bogert: 14th in West
  • Matt Doyle: 14th in West
  • David Gass: 14th in West
  • J. Sam Jones: 13th in West
  • Sacha Kljestan: 14th in West
  • Kaylyn Kyle: 13th in West
  • Joseph Lowery: 14th in West
  • Melissa Ortiz: 13th in West
  • Danielle Slaton: 14th in West
  • Andrew Wiebe: 13th in West
  • Bradley Wright-Phillips: 14th in West

Odds & Ends

  • Head coach: Bradley Carnell
  • Stadium: CITYPARK