St. Louis CITY SC's magic carpet ride reaches a new "big achievement"


St. Louis CITY SC have graduated from best expansion start to an MLS season to now one of the greatest beginnings of a season, by any team, in league history following a 4-0 rout of host Real Salt Lake Saturday night, a performance head coach Bradley Carnell described as "magnificent."

CITY SC have joined the LA Galaxy (1996) and Sporting Kansas City (2012) as the only teams in MLS to earn 15 points from five matches to start a season. And their +11 goal difference is unprecedented.

The novelty has worn off. Now, St. Louis CITY SC are in rarified air, proving to be a must-watch every matchnight of the 2023 season.

“It's memorable. It's something that I think every player will remember for the rest of their lives,” said forward Nicholas Gioacchini. “It hasn't happened yet, five wins from an expansion team. Even five wins in a row in a league for teams that have been here for a while. It's not easy as you can see in past seasons.”

Gioacchini broke the scoreless stalemate with his second MLS goal two minutes into the second half, the opening salvo of a four-goal scoring barrage.

Gioacchini’s strike partner João Klauss added a brace in the second half, increasing his goal total this season to five.

“He's another guy that's fully committed and you can see he's getting stronger, he’s getting healthier,” Carnell said. “He’s getting fitter and he's becoming a real menace.”

While his team remains humble in their record-breaking start, Carnell said there’s also a swagger and some big personalities in the locker room.

João Klauss, it would appear, leads the team in that category as well.

“Either my mother cries or your mother cries,” João Klauss told reporter Corey Miller when describing his mentality when taking on an opponent. “And I don’t like to see my mother cry.”

St. Louis CITY SC’s five wins have also come in different ways, needing to rally in their inaugural match at Austin FC and during their second road win at Portland. In the last two weeks, they’ve outscored the San Jose Earthquakes and Real Salt Lake, 7-0.

“To be honest, I knew that we will have good qualities as soon as we played our first game, first preseason game,” said goalkeeper Roman Bürki, who came up with a game-altering save before halftime. “But I mean 5-0 is, even if you are like not just a new team, you’re a team who's already used to playing MLS, it's a big achievement.”

After a big result in RSL's vaunted altitude conditions, CITY SC will chase a sixth straight opening-season win when hosting Minnesota United FC at CITYPARK next Saturday (8:30 pm ET | MLS Season Pass). They've already beaten Charlotte FC and San Jose at their Midwest home this year.

"It's our job to keep humble, remain grounded," said Carnell. "And just look for the next game, no more."