St. Louis City SC

St. Louis CITY SC Come from Behind to Earn Huge 2-3 Win Over Austin FC in 2023 MLS Debut at Q2 Stadium

February 25, 2023 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
St. Louis City SC News Release

ST. LOUIS - In their 2023 MLS debut, St. Louis CITY SC clawed from behind to earn a huge 2-3 win over Austin FC behind goals from Tim Parker, Jared Stroud and João Klauss. Klauss who was very active throughout the game, latched on to Niko Gioacchini's pass before beating the defender and slotting the ball in the back of the net with the outside of his foot. Miguel Perez, CITY SC's 17-year-old homegrown player also made his debut for St. Louis.

First Goal in History

MLS veteran Tim Parker broke the deadlock in the 24thminute to score his fourth and St. Louis CITY SC's first goal in club history. Parker, who played his 218th MLS match tonight, has now featured for four MLS teams: Vancouver Whitecaps, New York Red Bulls, Houston Dynamo and now St. Louis.

Klauss the game winner

St. Louis CITY SC Designated Player and forward João Klauss scored the game's final goal to secure the win for St. Louis CITY SC. Klauss who was very active throughout the game, latched on to Niko Gioacchini's pass before beating the defender and slotting the ball in the back of the net with the outside of his foot.

Stroud Back in Austin

Austin fans recognized CITY SC midfielder Jared Stroud who spent the 2021 and 2022 seasons in the Texas capital. Stroud started and played 81 minutes and also got the game-tying goal for CITY SC in the 78th minute.

Homegrown Debut

CITY SC added another piece to historic night as St. Louis native and CITY SC Homegrown player, 17-year-old Miguel Perez made his MLS debut. Perez also etched his name in the history books in 2021, scoring the Academy's first goal.

Goal-Scoring Plays

STL - Tim Parker (Eduard Löwen), 24th minute: After winning a corner kick, Löwen whipped in a corner kick that was met by Parker to record the first goal in CITY SC's history.

ATX- Sebastian Driussi (Leo Väisänen), 45' +4 minute: Driussi latched on to Väisänen's long pass before lobbing the ball into the back of the net.

ATX- Jon Gallagher (Diego Fagundez), 72nd minute: Jon Gallagher left footed shot from the center of the box to the bottom right corner.

STL - Jared Stroud, 78th minute: Jared Stroud right footed shot from the center of the box to the bottom left corner.

STL - João Klauss (Niko Gioacchini), 86th minute: Klauss who was very active throughout the game, latched on to Niko Gioacchini's pass before beating the defender and slotting the ball in the back of the net with the outside of his foot.

Postgame Notes

In their 2023 MLS debut, St. Louis CITY SC clawed from behind to earn a huge 2-3 win over Austin FC behind goals from Tim Parker, Jared Stroud and João Klauss.

With the win, St. Louis CITY SC improves to 1-0-0 and takes the three points back to St. Louis ahead of their home opener against Charlotte FC.

Defender Tim Parker opened the scoring in the 24th minute, rising above everyone to head in Eduard Löwen's corner kick to score CITY SC's first goal in history.

Jared Stroud started and played 81 minutes against his former team Austin FC after featuring in 2021 and 2022 for the Verde.

Prior to tonight, the last five MLS expansion teams have lost their first-ever regular match dating back to 2019. The last five MLS expansion teams have lost their first-ever regular season match dating back to 2019. Los Angeles FC in 2018 is the only one of the 11 MLS newcomers dating back to 2012 to win its inaugural MLS match (1-0 at Seattle). That LAFC win is the only time an expansion team started on the road against a non-expansion team won the match (Fire won at fellow expansion Miami Fusion in 1998).

Next Game

Next up, St. Louis CITY SC heads home to take on Charlotte FC for their inaugural home match at CITYPARK.

Austin FC (0-1-0, 0pts) vs. St. Louis CITY SC (1-0-0, 3pts)

Feb. 25, 2023 - Q2 Stadium (Austin, Texas)

Goals by Half 1 2 F

Austin FC 1 1 2

St. Louis CITY SC 1 2 3

Scoring Summary:

STL: Parker (Löwen), 24

ATX: Sebastian Driussi (Väisänen), 45' +4

ATX: Jon Gallagher (Fagundez), 72

STL - Jared Stroud, 78

STL - João Klauss (Gioacchini), 86

Misconduct Summary:

STL: Ostrák (caution), 17


STL: GK Roman Bürki ©; D Jake Nerwinski, D Tim Parker, D Kyle Hiebert, D John Nelson; M Indiana Vassilev (Njabulo Blom 17'), M Eduard Löwen, M Jared Stroud (Célio Pompeu 81'), M Tomáš Ostrák (Miguel Perez 60'), M Rasmus Alm (Niko Gioacchini 60') ; F João Klauss (Josh Yaro 88')

Substitutes Not Used: GK Ben Lundt; D Selmir Pidro; M Akil Watts M Aziel Jackson;


ATX: GK Brad Stuver; D Leo Vaisanen, D Julio Cascante (Kipp Keller 10'), D Zan Kolmanic (Jon Gallagher 68'), D Nick Lima; M Dani Pereira, M Sebastian Driussi ©, M Owen Wolff (Alex Ring 75') M Emiliano Rigoni, M Diego Fagundez (Ethan Finlay 75'), F Gyasi Zardes (Maxi Urruti 88')

Substitutes Not Used: GK Matt Bersano; D Hector Jimenez, M Jhojan Valencia, F Will Bruin,


Referee: Allen Chapman

Assistant Referees: Jeremy Hanson, Benjamin Pilgrim

Fourth Official: Stefan Tanaka-Freundt

VAR: Sorin Stoica

AVAR: Mike Kampmeinert

Venue: Q2 Stadium

Weather: Clear, 60 degrees



BC: Obviously there was a lot of weight on our shoulders coming into this game and we knew it wasn't going to be easy coming into a Q2 Stadium against such a stacked, loaded team with the quality like they do have.

We found out a lot about our group through preseason. We spent a lot of time together. We played some really good opponents, and we feel like we framed this first game in a really good way. Credit to the ownership group for allowing us a platform months ago, years ago, to try and get this day right.

So yeah, just extremely grateful to be sitting here tonight and to start off the season with three points is extremely humbling.

Q.What's the emotion after winning the first game and winning it in such a dramatic manner?

BC: Yeah, I mean, the emotions are high through the game. There's ebbs and flows, and we take a few shots to the stomach, and we have to adjust. Yeah, you shut them down there, they open a gap on other side. You shut them there, and then they open up centrally. It's a quality team. It was game of cat-and-mouse, and yeah, I think for the neutral fan, what an amazing game.

At the end, that we turned it around; I thought the substitutions that came in really set the tone for the end of the game. We know if we get Klauss the ball in the box, he's always dangerous. We just had to stay in there, and that's what I spoke about, the character of this group. I spoke about the resolve of this group, and we've seen it brewing inside the group for many weeks now. So yeah, it's just a good moment.

Q.How big was it to take a lead, get Tim Parker to score first and give you guys the with 1-0 lead?

BC: Yeah, just the guys have been working really hard at set pieces. This is one of the things that we felt okay, during the preseason was one of the phases that kind of led us down. Not just the defensive ones but also the attacking ones.

So, we scored a couple, but the group holds itself to high standards, and we want to feel that the pressure we set on ourselves, it's the only pressure we set, right. So we are not living up to any expectations. There are no outside pressures for us. The pressures is only the one that we put on ourselves.

Q.You can game plan all you want, but that second goal by Stroud is one that comes out of the hat.

BC: Yeah, sometimes you might need to earn that, right. You might need to just be at the right place at the right time. You might need to just close down somebody, just get a jump on somebody.

You create your own luck. I think Gary Player said, "The harder I work, the luckier I get," and I think that's just what the group did tonight. The harder they worked, the more they came out of their shells; the more they got used to the tempo of the game; the more they got used to what's going on.

I think on the night, we get 18 shots and nine off on target at Q2 Stadium. I don't know how many teams come to Q2 Stadium get nine shots off on frame and, you know, credit to the group.

Q.After you tie the game, Klauss's goal is a thing of beauty?

BC: We know Klauss is a weapon. This is basically just coming off of preseason. The legs are heavy, 90 minutes, there's only a handful of guys who have got to this threshold and we keep pushing and emptying the tank. Klauss went through these moments of fatigue, and he begged me to keep him on, so I'm glad we kept him on.

Q.What did you think in the last minute when the header goes off the crossbar?

BC: Not thinking too much. Hope it goes over or comes back, and it came back. We were able to do it. Just hoping that it doesn't go in. I thought we showed a lot of resolve tonight. It would have been a pity; we would have been proud of a point, but to take three is just so much sweeter.

Q.If there was a game that captured the City's play style, it was obviously this one. You only had 40 percent of the ball, just mentioned 18 shots, but 50 percent on target, that's pretty good considering the level of competition you were facing. You won the most tackles, won the most duels and had the most dangerous opportunities. You guys got a goal off a set piece and you had players making that little effort, such as Stroud, places at the right place at the right time; how validating was this win for you?

BC: I think it was just also the way the game started. Indi takes a blow to the nose and we have to get him off, and then Njabulo Blom, you saw glimpses. We pushed his limits tonight. He wasn't really ready to go that long, but we knew we had a guy who is really hungry, right. We had a guy who embraces the style of play and thought he had an excellent start to the game.

And then just to solidify the midfield as well, we make a couple of changes, we bring in Miggy Perez at 17 years of age, and he looked like a veteran out there. So I'm very proud of this group, and yeah, to come here and leave with three points, I don't think there's many greater things.

Q.Earlier this week, you mentioned you're very even keeled, you don't get too high or too low, but you said earlier this week it would be pretty cool to be party-poopers here in Austin, Texas. I think you guys did that tonight. Does that make you feel a little bit more intrigued by the idea of what this team can be down the line or are you still able to hold on to that even keel?

BC: Yeah, I said to the group before the game, there's 34 chapters to this book that we are writing. Today was No. 1 of 34 in the regular season, right.

So do we get to 40 games this season, 45, I don't know how many times we get to. But today we started the story off in the right way. We started off a story to reward themselves. They have worked so hard. They have emptied the tanks and its new contents we have been throwing at them, and for it all to come together tonight, at a place like this, away from home, against the grain against -- you said it, somebody said it, 40 percent possession, but to get off the amount of shots that we did; the quality shots and to turn over the ball in areas that we really planned for, I thought it was a good game plan, yeah, just enjoyed this moment for sure.

Q.Can you speak to the traveling fans and St. Louis fans?

BC: Yeah, it was one of the first things that after 90 minutes, just to acknowledge the fans. We knew 170 plus our front office staff, just an incredible day for the city. We know the history and we've spoken about it through the whole preseason, and we know what it means to the City of St. Louis.

So for us to come out here and for the fans to come support us all this way, it's truly emotional and humbling at the same time. So we just are looking forward to next week against Charlotte, and yeah, we're going to do a bit of homework this week and get ready to go and roll it out again on Saturday.

Q.I wanted to ask you specifically about No. 10, what did you see from him today that was so impactful in your victory?

BC: Yeah, well, Löwen covers tons of ground, right. We know how dangerous Driussi is. Löwen plays like a 6, he plays like an 8, he plays like the number on his back, a 10. He has a lot of individual quality and for him to have done the tactical job on Driussi for as long as he did, all credit to him.

And then we started making strategical changes and put him in a different spot, and he just adapts really well. I'm really excited he got 90 minutes under his belt. Like I said, he covers a lot of ground and it was a big ask for him today to do 90, proud of him.

Q.Can you describe the journey with Miggy Perez, he goes from a player that you guys are, hey, this guy might be something to we are going to give him a contract to travel him and to playing him and playing him well in this game?

BC: One of the easiest decisions tonight to put Miggy Perez on the field. We put him in the deep end at Nexpo (ph) and he swam very quickly. He would you tell him in the deep end here in preseason and he swam equally well. It was one of the first names for me when we knew we were going through different moments of battle, struggle, fatigue.

We knew that Miggy can contribute. We have a belief in our roster. We have a belief in everybody here. We just have to check the status on some of the guys, Indiana, as well because he wasn't in a really good way. I'm glad Gioacchini comes on and does one a good job. Blom, incredible. Just the subs, Pompeu with a 1v1 dynamic. It's a threat on the wings. I thought we came around again just when we needed it, and we were able to turn it around.

Q.I wanted to ask you about Gioacchini comes on in the 60th minute along with Miggy and really makes immediate impact especially with the game-winning goal. Was that something that you were expecting to see out of hip tonight, or what was that like?

BC: We had to be a little bit flexible with regard to some of the -- with some of the changes, Rasmus ran out of gas a little early on and then protected. Tomáš Ostrák put in a ton of work as well. We had to be a little bit flexible in our approach. We know Gioacchini can play multiple positions but I think he's most comfortable underneath Klauss, but he did a great job. He also commits everything to the team every single day, and he's been in a really good way the last couple of days. Just happy he could get on the field as well.

Q.Did Vassilev start because Blom wasn't ready enough to go as long as you'd like?

BC: I think there's different nuances, different personnel for different moments, and just through the week, knowing where Blom was just through the week, knowing how good Indi was playing and how comfortable he was, and he had a really good preseason, right.

So, we have thrown a bunch of demands on him. He's soaked everything up. So we knew he was ready for this game and we're all pretty bummed that he took the knock to the nose. We are not sure of the severity of it but we are hoping that it's not too bad and that he can get going pretty soon. We just feel we like where we are with the depth in that position. I think Blom as well as Indi, as well as Akil Watts and Miggy Perez, we have guys in this position that we trust, and there will be different moments for different personnel.

Q.Defensively, you gave up two goals. How did you feel about just the defensive unit?

BC: Yeah, we gave up two shots on target as well, so the shots -- the goals we gave up are the shots on target tonight. In preseason, we have averaged three shots on goal against us. I think we've done one better tonight and only got two on goal. So, I think the group was stout and strategically changed their lineup and formation at the back in the last couple minutes, and you could see that we were tough to break down, and that's all a coach wants to see.


On what it feels like to be the first player in club history to score a goal...

Yeah, it's - it's an amazing feeling. You know, I don't score that many goals. So, it's kind of ironic that I scored tonight in the way that I did. I'm just really, really, really happy. You know? I think it's a combination of all the hard work that we put in, and I was just in the right place at the right time.

On the importance of getting ready for next week after a big win...

Yeah, we kind of talked about a little bit this week, right? Like where we said, you know, Austin is going to be an absolute riot. And then if we're able to play well here and get a result here, we're going to have an absolute riot waiting for us in St. Louis next week. So, the adrenaline is obviously really high. Everyone's really happy in the locker room, but we have to regroup this week and recreate that feeling and that buzz again in training.


On his game-winning goal...

Yeah, I saw the space behind the last line. So, I tried to run there. And then to be honest, I was so tired that I didn't think about it. I just did it. So, I'm so happy for the goal, but also proud of the team -- what we did today was unbelievable.

On the team's feeling after falling behind 2-1...

Yeah, that was the point of the game that we were suffering a lot because we didn't have the ball, we were not keeping the ball. We were making some mistakes when we got the ball back from them. And yeah -- but these kinds of games that you suffer a lot during the game, in the end, you were two-one behind and you got the win in the end of the game. This is perfect game to grow the team, to grow the mentality of the players. To show that we have to believe to the last minute. This is soccer and everything can happen, and I'm so proud of the team.

• Discuss this story on the Major League Soccer message board...

Major League Soccer Stories from February 25, 2023

The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

OurSports Central