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MLS announces St. Louis as next expansion team

St. Louis soccer fans celebrate during a gathering at the Urban Chestnut Grove Brewery where owners of the newly announced MLS expansion team in St. Louis toasted fans and thanked them for their support on Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019. Earlier Tuesday MLS Commissioner Don Garber officially announced St. Louis will be the 28th team added to the growing professional soccer league. Photo by David Carson, dcarson@post-dispatch.com

On Jan. 28, 2016, I wrote a column for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. It was written in the form of a letter to Don Garber, the commissioner of Major League Soccer. The Rams had just bolted. We needed MLS.

I wrote: “We’re no longer a football town, but we’re forever a fútbol town.” I mentioned our flag: “Have you seen the St. Louis flag? It’s awesome — it should be emblazoned across the uniforms of our team. It’s a striking red, with blue rivers meeting at a yellow-and-blue fleur de lis. The flag represents the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. I love that word. Confluence. It could represent St. Louisans coming together, merging with MLS to create something significant. Heck, call the St. Louis team FC Confluence. We are soccer’s gateway.”

MLS was a STL dream in early 2016. Now, in August of 2019, it's a reality, and it took a confluence of St. Louis influence and confidence to make it happen. As the ownership group considers different names for our town's team, I wanted to resubmit my suggestion. This soccer team is energizing and uniting St. Louis. It's bringing us together, all citizens, from both the city and the county. The word confluence is defined as “the act of merging and coming together” — that's what the St. Louis community is doing with this soccer team.

So let's name the team STL Confluence or St. Louis Confluence or FC Confluence.

It's a unique word. It's a cool word. It's our word.

And it's not much different from the word “United,” used in many MLS team names (such as DC United, Atlanta United and, internationally, with the famed Manchester United).

We're a fluid city, fluent in soccer. We're a confluence of everything that makes a city great ... and everything that makes MLS great.

We are STL Confluence.

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