I’ll start with the picture here to your left. Who’s that? Well, it’s St.Louis native and former St.Louis Lions forward Tommy Heinemann! Here he is right after he scored the winning goal against Montreal that sent the Carolina Railhawks to the USSF Div 2 Final against the Puerto Rico Islanders. Puerto Rico and Carolina played game 1 of their two game final in Puerto Rico this past Saturday, where the Islanders were victorious by the score of 2-0. The teams next play at Carolina this Saturday to determine the Division II Champion.
This week the MLS wrapped up their regular season and with it wrapped up two players with St.Louis ties. Brian McBride and Chris Klein both have decided to retire from their professional soccer careers. Brian McBride set scoring and assists records at Saint Louis University, was a star forward for the USMNT, played in Germany and a couple teams in England before settling in at Fulham for 4 seasons. In 2008 McBride returned to the MLS and signed with the Chicago Fire. Brian played his final game Saturday night and scored his final goal of his career, his 80th MLS career goal.
Chris Klein also decided this would be his final season of his professional career. Chris was born and raised in St.Louis. He played soccer at DeSmet before going to Indiana University (sound familiar? Noonan, Ambersley, Will Bruin). After college Chris was drafted by the Kansas City Wizards where he became a solid midfielder and helped them win the 2000 MLS Cup. He played 8 season for Kansas City before going to RSL for 2 seasons. Then in 2007 he was traded to the LA Galaxy where he spent the remainder of his career. Chris is fifth all time in MLS games played and holds the league record for consecutive games played and consecutive games started.
The MLS Playoffs are set to begin. In the Eastern Conference, the NYRB will play San Jose and Columbus will play Colorado. In the Western Conference, the LA Galaxy will play Seattle and Salt Lake will play Dallas. This year’s final will take place in Toronto on Nov 21, the first time it will be held in Canada.
There will be some notable players representing St.Louis in this year’s MLS Playoffs. The NYRB of course have Tim Ream who is having an outstanding rookie season and will be sure to start in defense. The Colorado Rapids have Washington native Matt Pickens as their regular in goal. LA Galaxy will have Chris Klein and Seattle will have Pat Noonan, two players who may see time off the bench as these two teams play each other in the first round.
This past Saturday, Will Bruin of Indiana University turned 21. He celebrated by scoring two goals and had an assist in Indiana’s 3-0 victory over Michigan State. With a win this Sunday against Northwestern, Indiana can win the Big Ten title for the first time since 2007. Will Bruin now has 12 goals and is second in the NCAA Div I.
The Austin Aztex announced today that they are leaving and moving to Orlando, Florida where they will join the USL Pro Division. Rochester Rhinos have also announced they too will join the USL Pro.