St. Louis Soccer HOF: Our History

Bob Burnes
Mickey Connors, Msgr. Sullivan, Bob & Adele Burnes, Msgrs. Johnson & Kennedy
History of The St. Louis Soccer Hall of Fame

The St. Louis Soccer Hall of Fame held it's 1st Annual Dinner in 1971 when Bob Burnes was one of the first Soccer personalities to be inducted that year.

 

St. Louis has a long history as one of the major hotbeds of Soccer in the United States.  During the early years of Soccer, St. Louis was the Western outpost of the major Soccer regions, as immigrant communities brought their game to the major industrial center of the country.  Unlike other regions, St. Louis was known mostly for the major amateur clubs that achieved national distinction in the U.S. Open Cup and National Amateur Cup during the middle part of the 20th century.  Between 1920 and 1957, six different teams won the U.S. Open Cup.  Later, as the amateur circuit faded in prominence, St. Louis enjoyed distinction as a hotbed for College Soccer as St. Louis University won a string of consecutive NCAA titles during the 1960’s.  Success at the amateur level paid off in bigger ways, as St. Louis players had a prominent rule on the National Team.  There were 6 players plus the assistant coach who were on the team that defeated England in the 1950 World Cup that were from St. Louis. In fact, every World Cup squad had at least one St. Louis player on its roster.  In addition, twenty-nine (29) St. Louis Soccer personalities are enshrined in the National Soccer Hall of Fame.

When the North American Soccer League began play in 1967, the St. Louis Stars, a charter franchise, pioneered a developmental policy that emphasized recruitment and development of local American talent, bucking the league’s trend towards employing aging international stars.  More recently, St. Louis has been primarily known for its indoor Soccer teams, and the city’s importance in the national Soccer scene has been muted as fans look for the possibility of a Major League Soccer team to bring the region back into prominence.  But the city still enjoys a reputation as a key part in the development of U.S. Soccer throughout the early years of the sport in the country.