ST. LOUIS - Saint Louis FC players Brandon Barklage, Mike Ambersley, and Parker Maher shared their thoughts on the 2015 season while looking ahead to 2016. Check it out:
Q: What are some of your thoughts on the 2015 season as a whole?
Ambersley: There were a lot of bright spots despite us not finishing where we wanted to. There area a lot of guys who stepped up as guys we can build around next year.
Barklage: I don’t think the year has gone the way we expected it to go, but at the same time I think there were a lot of positives and things we can build on for next season. Being a first-year team, you're going to have some growing pains and there’s some things we obviously need to work on. But overall, I think we found a great core group of guys that we can work with here.
Maher: We’re all learning together as a first-year club. People know we didn’t have the best season, and that’s disappointing to a lot of us. We want to succeed and have a winning season, and compete for a championship every year. Nonetheless, I thought it was a great year. For me, getting my first professional goal and assist were big moments for my family and I.
Q: What was your favorite memory from this season?
Ambersley: The (U.S. Open Cup match at Sporting Kansas City) was very exciting. It was a big game for us. I also thought the Charleston match (on August 20) was a fun game to be a part of, and getting a come-from-behind win in that game was great. That was special for us, especially giving the crowd a home win after a few months of struggling at home.
Barklage: The (U.S. Open Cup match vs. Minnesota United FC) was fun for me. Minnesota is a top team in the NASL that came to town probably expecting to get a win, but we showed the fans that we can compete with those guys. That was a special night for us.
Maher: At home we had two really exciting wins: Minnesota and Charleston. Minnesota is one of the best teams in the NASL and it was a huge victory for us in penalties. The crowd loved it, and we loved it. Of course the Sporting Kansas City game was incredible as well. Being able to play in that stadium and in that environment was so special.
Q: How do you think the STL FC fan base responds next year?
Ambersley: I think it'll keep growing. More and more people are finding out about our team, and as the year went on, the crowds kept getting bigger. I think that with some additions to the squad and raising the level of play, it's only going to get better from here.
Barklage: The fans were spectacular this season. It’s very fun going into a home game knowing that there’s huge support from the crowd all year long. They were awesome.
Q: What's something you're looking forward to next season?
Ambersley: A fresh start. We had a decent start this year but hit a rough patch that was hard to recover from. With some of the young guys gaining experience and playing big roles on the team, that will be big for us moving forward. I'm looking forward to the progress next year.
Barklage: For me personally, it’s coming in with a clean slate and starting off with these guys from the start. I came into the team late in the preseason and it was an adjustment. It’ll be nice to be with the guys from day one. I just can’t wait to be healthy, stay healthy, and contribute.
Maher: To see us make improvements as a team. I think we have a lot of potential and I want to count on myself to make improvements. I think coming in with a clean slate and familiar faces in January will really bode well for us. But I'm mainly looking forward to coming back and seeing the fans and playing in front of them again. They were awesome.