St. Louis CITY SC's dream start continued Saturday night, with the expansion club’s third consecutive victory following a similar script as the first two – needing to rally after conceding early to earn all three points.
And by following a win at Austin FC in their inaugural match with come-from-behind victories over Charlotte FC in their home opener and the Portland Timbers at Providence Park, St. Louis have etched their names in the MLS record books.
They are the first team in league history to start the season with three consecutive come-from-behind wins, the first expansion side to win two of their first three MLS games on the road, and have tied the 2009 Seattle Sounders by starting their inaugural season 3W-0L-0D.
“One or two could be fluky or lucky. And there's some bounces that have gone our way, but I also thought in those first couple of games, we were creating a lot of great looks,” said Kyle Hiebert, who scored the 75th-minute winner at Providence Park.
“To get three on the spin, yeah, hopefully shows people, but we're not really in the business of needing to show different people. We just want to go out there and execute our game plan at a high level and then that usually results in a byproduct of a win, which it did tonight.”
St. Louis conceded inside the third minute, on a goal by Timbers defender Zac McGraw. That follows Matchday 2’s opener at CITYPARK against Charlotte in which the hosts were in a 1-0 hole inside 13 minutes.
“To show little moments of growth, every time I feel we hit a speed bump, I feel we get stronger,” CITY SC head coach Bradley Carnell said. “This will only serve us well down the line.”
Jared Stroud’s equalizer in first-half stoppage time was huge, setting the stage for another late winner which put the expansion side on top of the league table as Matchday 3 winds down.
“I thought it's a massive step for us together as a group this time,” Carnell said of the win.
Carnell said he didn’t foresee his team’s start to the season, but the seeds were planted last year when the playing style was established and players arrived in the summer, well ahead of the 2023 season to get acclimated to their new surroundings and to begin team bonding.
“This style of play is not easy. This style of play demands a lot of commitment, not just to the philosophy, but to each other as a teammate,” Carnell said. “And we felt every minute that the lights were not on us in MLS, these were moments for us to grow and get ready. We just taken everything in our stride. We feel we've achieved nothing and we have to keep it calm and exciting for next time.”