Tom Strunk, in Dan’s words, is the “brains behind the scenes” of #MLS4thelou and Saint Louis FC. He’s also the CFO of World Wide Technology, our city’s leading corporate supporter of soccer in the region. He has known Jim Kavanaugh since their soccer days together at SLU and they have worked together for 25+ years.
According to Strunk, “The sport of soccer has meant so much to me in development and growing up.” He grew up playing for Scott Gallagher soccer club and coach Tom Howe. He’s a board member for the STLFC and has been an integral part in bringing professional soccer to St. Louis.
Strunk attended the meeting in New York with MLS commissioner, Don Garber, and the #MLS4thelou ownership team. He said the meeting was “to check off the boxes for all the progress we’ve made here over the past several months.” Also, he thought that MLS was “a little bit surprised at how much progress we’ve made in such a short period of time.”
He echoed Jim Kavanaugh and Carolyn Kindle Betz’s statements in regards to shoring up corporate involvement as the next steps. Strunk said, “They know St. Louis has great soccer history but they want to understand what soccer is today and what kind of corporate support we’d have for the game moving forward.” Strunk said the businesses in St. Louis have been great about coming forward from day one and the ownership group will be setting up meetings soon to solidify corporate partnerships.
MLS is reportedly watching all facets of soccer in St. Louis which includes the upcoming season of STLFC. The home opener is March 9th at 1 pm against Indy Eleven. It’s the fifth season of the club’s existence in St. Louis. Strunk said they’re expecting a sell-out crowd for the opening home game.
“I think there’s nothing like it.” Strunk said describing the atmosphere at a STLFC game. “When we sell out that place, there’s upwards of six thousand in the park and there’s just not a bad seat in the house.” He said that sold out crowd for STLFC would be about one fourth the amount of people they expect at an MLS game.
“It is absolutely a quality of soccer that keeps getting better…” stated Strunk naming certain international talent on the team. “This is the first time we’ve had 50% of our roster back… It’s directly related to the success we had under our coach Anthony Pulis. We feel good about who we’re bringing back.”
“The fans have an opportunity to engage with the players. It’s just a really unique environment,” Strunk told Dan regarding how much interaction fans and players have at STLFC.
The MLS commissioner is watching all things soccer in St. Louis and a big part of that is how the region supports is current teams.
Tickets are affordable and available to purchase now at saintlouisfc.com