As residents of Missouri deal with school closings, impassable roads, and hungry neighbors, Saturday’s originally scheduled soccer match pales in insignificance to daily struggles.
Saint Louis FC and the USL announced on Wednesday evening that this weekend’s contested between STLFC and the Rochester Rhinos was postponed until further notice.
St. Louis, MO – The United Soccer League (USL) has officially postponed the May 6th game between Saint Louis FC and Rochester Rhinos to a later date in the season. The decision comes as historic flooding has left Toyota Stadium in an unplayable condition for this weekend's game.
Saint Louis FC and Rochester Rhinos have been working with the USL to find the best situation for both clubs. After thorough consideration, it was determined that a postponement would be the best course of action. The rescheduled date for the match will be announced in the near future once the damage at Toyota Stadium is assessed.
"It is unfortunate that we find ourselves in this situation, but postponing the game is the best for all involved," said Patrick Barry, Club President. "We will go to work in the coming days to put the World Wide Technology Soccer Park back together and in playable condition. We look forward to hosting our great fans as soon as possible."
TAMPA, Fla. – The United Soccer League announced on Wednesday that Saturday’s game between Saint Louis FC and the Rochester Rhinos at Toyota Stadium – Saint Louis had been postponed due to flooding in the area.
The new scheduled date for the contest will be announced at a future date.
Heavy rains over recent days caused the Meramec River to rise over the course of Monday, leaving the venue under water. After careful consideration and consultation with both clubs, the USL deemed a postponement the appropriate course of action.
“We are obviously disappointed to have to postpone Saturday’s contest at this stage,” said USL VP of Operations Brett Luy. “However, for the safety of players and fans, it was decided by all parties this was the correct decision.”
In Missouri, the current water levels are reminiscent of the destructive December 2015 flooding. In USL circles, stadium damage due to flooding recalls straw that broke the Austin Aztex, which has been on some sort of permanent hiatus after suffering financial losses and failing to secure a new viable home venue. While there is little chance that the well-structured and properly financed Saint Louis club will go down as a result of this flooding, there are many more immediate concerns for residents of the area.
With more rain on the forecast expected to add to the water level and no home games until June 2, it was probably an easy decision for Saint Louis FC to make. Governor Eric Greitens declared a state of emergency in much of Missouri at the outset of the flooding. Early in the week club officials were in contact with the league to determine the options available, both relocating away from Toyota Stadium at World Wide Technology Soccer Park and rescheduling the match.
Once both teams and the league were on the same page, Saint Louis FC announced that the game will be rescheduled for a later date. This means that Rhinos fans will have to wait a little longer to see Adam Grinwis, Tony Walls, and Christian Volesky suit up against the Rhinos for the first time. That wait may hold until August 26 when Rochester hosts Preki’s side.
It is not clear at this point what the make-up date will be. Saint Louis has two weekends off in the first half of the season, May 20-21 and June 17-18, but the Rhinos have matches scheduled for both of those weekends. Saint Louis has three midweek games scheduled for the month of August so squeezing another fixture in would be difficult.
The Rhinos already had a bye-week scheduled for the weekend of May 13-14 and with the Saint Louis match postponed, the team doesn’t have a competitive fixture until they host the winner of FC Motown and New Jersey Copa FC in the U.S. Open Cup on May 17.
With no matches for two calendar weeks after the announcement on Wednesday evening, hopefully the Rhinos will announce an event to keep fans busy until then. The team should host a fundraiser or accept donations to help flood victims in Missouri and neighboring states.
After we all get out a good grumble about a lack of Rhinos soccer this weekend, send some positive thoughts or monetary donations towards those suffering in Missouri, Illinois, and Arkansas.