The Away End | St. Louis City SC with Tom Timmermann


New York City FC takes on St. Louis City SC this Saturday.

For this edition of 'The Away End' presented by Berkeley College & Rennert International, we spoke to Tom Timmermann, who covers St. Louis City SC for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Hi Tom, thank you for speaking with us. How long have you been covering soccer in St. Louis? 

I’ve been covering soccer in St. Louis since I came here in 1996. Much of that was covering St. Louis University, the occasional national team visit, efforts to get an MLS team or the city’s assorted second-division clubs. (My main assignment during that time was mostly the NHL and the St. Louis Blues.) I’ve been full-time on City SC since the start of 2023. And before all that I covered soccer for newspapers in Los Angeles.

What has been your highlight during that time?

Because of St. Louis’ history with soccer, we’ve cared about the sport even before we got an MLS team – the St. Louis Post-Dispatch was the only American newspaper at the 1950 World Cup in Brazil for America’s 1-0 win over England -- so I covered the 1998 World Cup in France and the 2006 World Cup in Germany, along with the 1999 Women’s World Cup here. Certainly, the scene of the French fans celebrating on the Champs Elysees after the win in 1998 was something not to forget.

How would you evaluate St. Louis City’s 2023 season?

I thought coming out of camp they would compete for a playoff spot, maybe finish somewhere between sixth and ninth. They obviously did better than that. They got timely goals and their style forced turnovers that got them goals and wins. A lot of players emerged who hadn’t gotten chances elsewhere or who were just ideally suited for City’s style of play. No one saw first place coming. City ran out of gas toward the end of the season, and the combination of an off week and an international break late in the season kind of ground them to a halt. They never got restarted after that.

What are your hopes for the team this season? 

Hopes aren’t my department, but my expectation is the team will be better than last season, but probably not get as good of results because that’s how the world works. So they can finish in the top four in the West if things go well and I’d be surprised if they didn’t make the playoffs. The big thing for the team is to win a playoff game and advance. That bothers them from last season, but they know to do that, they have to make the playoffs.

What do you think will be the deciding factor during the game on Saturday? 

There is lots of uncertainty about City SC’s backline at the moment, with all four players injured in some way, so who knows who can go. Wouldn’t be surprised to see Michael Wentzel, called up from City2 for the CONCACAF game, get another look on Saturday. I thought he looked solid against Houston on Tuesday. Offensively, City SC just hasn’t shown that finishing touch yet. Klauss is too good not to score at some point, but so far he’s been off-target.

For any fans that might be in St. Louis for the game, are there any pregame places you suggest they check out? 

Pappy’s Smokehouse about a mile or so up the street from the stadium has the best barbecue in St. Louis. 3106 Olive Blvd. Though they only make so much each day, and when they run out, they close, so get there early.

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