The deal has been generally agreed to since last fall but now it's finally official. The Fire will partner with new USLPro side Saint Louis FC under the terms of MLS' affiliate program. Clubs had the option of fielding their own teams in USLPro this season or partnering with a third division affiliate as MLS looks to replace the Reserve League. Initially the deal was held up pending the resolution of details pertaining to the Collective Bargaining Agreement but once those issues were resolved another hurdle was posed. Some wrangling over the details of territorial rights with a "rival" MLS club delayed the official announcement until now.
The Fire will be able to loan players to Saint Louis FC throughout the season and will be able to recall them at any time. The agreement makes Saint Louis FC an ideal destination for yesterday's SuperDraft selections Matt Polster and Kingsley Bryce. "This is a great opportunity for our players to gain valuable playing time and continue their development in a competitive environment," said Technical Director Brian Bliss via a press release. The two clubs will also collaborate on scouting initiatives.
Saint Louis FC will play their games at Soccer Park in Fenton, Missouri. The facility seats 6,000 spectators.