ST. LOUIS - Saint Louis FC General Manager Jeremy Alumbaugh answered a few questions regarding the team's recent form, the support at World Wide Technology Soccer Park, and looking ahead to the future.
Q: What style is the team looking to play over the final six games of the season?
JA: We are looking to be a difficult team to play against. We're going to stay organized and focus on the little details that will allow us to compete in every game we play. It’s no secret that we’ve struggled to find goals, so we have to continue to compete, be organized, and take our chances when they come. Over our previous five games, we’ve done a good job of this for the most part, but we've come up short in key moments. Staying organized and compact will hopefully help us in limiting counter-attacks for our opponents.
Q: What is your reaction to the recent string of suspensions for STL FC players?
JA: The incident at the end of the FC Montreal game was uncalled for from our players. There were obviously some frustrations that came out in that incident that we don’t condone, and the players know they made a mistake. The yellow card accumulation suspensions are part of any team's season at this level. When players are working hard and competing, you are going to accumulate cards over the course of a long season. In the Charleston game last weekend, we feel that there were a couple inaccurate decisions that went against us and, unfortunately, resulted in suspensions for two of our players.
I wouldn’t classify us as a physical or dirty team by any means. We are currently last in the USL in fouls committed. There are 15 teams in the league that have as many or more yellow cards than we do. We have recently had two games where it all happened at once, so I understand how fans might be frustrated. We're not happy about it, but if you look at the season as a whole, I don't see us being undisciplined as a team.
Q: What do you make of the continued home support at World Wide Technology Soccer Park?
JA: It’s unreal. We have played in front of a few good crowds on the road this season, but none of them compare to what we've seen at the Soccer Park. We've been blown away by the size of the crowds and the commitment to come back EVERY game, even though the results haven't been what we hoped for. From the St. Louligans to our season ticket members to general fans, it's been amazing.
The support doesn’t go unnoticed, and our team and staff wants nothing more than being able to reward the incredible support with more wins at home. The positive is that we know we have the best supporters and fans around, and we owe it to them to continue improving in all facets of our gameday experience.
Q: What are the team's goals to close out the 2015 season?
JA: We need to show that we have the base to be successful on the field in 2016. These last few games on our schedule offer some tremendous opportunities to play against top teams in the USL Eastern Conference and show that we can compete with them. We want to take every chance we have to continue learning about the league, and learn what it takes to be successful going forward.
Getting some of our injured players back on the field would have to be a goal as well. We hope the crowds can see them play here at home before the season ends. Of course, the Kings Cup against Louisville is still within our grasp as we close out the regular season on September 19. It won’t be easy, but it’s right there. I think the St. Louligans and team would enjoy that.
Q: What’s one thing you’ll look to address this offseason?
JA: Improving our home record. We need to find ways to win at home, which will set us up for more success overall. We also want to identify players that can continue to build on what we have here so we give ourselves every chance to improve in 2016. Our fans and supporters deserve it. St. Louis deserves it.