Soccer evangelists are a tireless lot. Supporters of the sport carry a fervent belief that soccer will one day take this country by storm, as it has in nearly every other nation the world over. And why shouldn't it? It's an exercise in graceful skill and sheer athletic force that, despite some low-scoring games, is enthralling to watch. And while St. Louis has a string of now-defunct men's professional soccer teams (R.I.P., St. Louis Steamers), our town is now home to the St. Louis Athletica, an all-female team that plays in the Women's Professional Soccer league. Key players in the starting XI include hometowner Lori Chalupny in midfield, and goalie Hope Solo (pictured), both Olympic gold medal winners. The Athletica's inaugural match takes place at 7 p.m. tonight against the Chicago Red Stars at Ralph Korte Stadium on the campus of Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville (3230 Stadium Drive). For more information, visit www.saintlouisathletica.com or call 1-888-785-4625. Tickets are $12 to $120.
Sat., April 4, 2009