Friday , April 12 2024

Sporting Director Lutz Pfannenstiel signs new St. Louis CITY SC deal!

St. Louis CITY SC’s Sporting Director Lutz Pfannenstiel signed an extension with the club that will see him in St. Louis through 2026. Pfannenstiel has been with the organization since 2020. As the architect who built the club’s sporting department from the ground up, he is a fundamental part of the club’s early on-pitch success, which culminated in CITY SC being the first-ever expansion team to win its regular-season conference title in 2023.

“When we hired Lutz, we knew we were getting a top-tier sporting director who would quickly build a competitive club,” said St. Louis CITY SC’s CEO and member of the ownership group, Carolyn Kindle. “In a short period of time, Lutz built not just a winning first team but also a highly competitive Academy program, assembling an amazing roster of coaches, players and support staff members. But more than that, he believed in the ownership group’s vision and embraced the St. Louis community, which is why we are so pleased he will be with us moving forward.”

“Lutz established the team’s core values in relation to player development, and championed a pressing, team-first style of play that is seen at every practice and every match,” said St. Louis CITY SC President and GM, Diego Gigliani. “He’s attracted both established and high potential young talent from across the globe and, together with Bradley and the rest of the sporting leadership, brought them together to create a winning formula. With Lutz continuing at the helm of our soccer operations, it provides valued continuity as we bring CITY fans the thrilling soccer they have come to love.”

Pfannenstiel oversaw the creation and growth of St. Louis CITY SC’s sporting department from the Academy to MLS NEXT Pro to the building of the training center to the first team. Since the construction of the sporting department, Pfannenstiel has watched the foundation strengthen year over year.

“I am very appreciative for the opportunity to continue in St. Louis and couldn’t thank Carolyn, the ownership group and Diego enough for their support,” said Pfannenstiel. “When I arrived in 2020, I had a short, medium and long term plan as to how the future would pan out and this gives me the opportunity to further build on the foundation we have placed here.”

In 2021, the St. Louis CITY Academy began with a bang as future Homegrown signing Miguel Perez etched his name in history after scoring the first-ever goal for St. Louis CITY SC Academy in a 4-3 win against Chicago Fire U17s at the start of the 2021 MLS NEXT season. The MLS Next season conclude with the Under-16s reaching the national semifinals while the Under-17s reached the national tournament.

After watching the Academy have success in their first year, St Louis CITY2, the organization’s MLS NEXT Pro team, followed up with an impressive inaugural season. CITY2 strung together a Western Conference-best 15-6-3 mark led by then-Head Coach John Hackworth. CITY2 went on to win the Western Conference title and finish runner-up to the Columbus Crew 2.

As CITY2 was making a statement in its first season in MLS NEXT Pro, Pfannenstiel signed seven European players, which included both Designated Players, Eduard Löwen and João Klauss, along with Dortmund standout goalkeeper Roman Bürki, ahead of the 2022 Summer Transfer window to get acclimated to the City of St. Louis and the team’s high-pressing playing style. The German Sporting Director went on acquire nine players via trade or signing, four players through the Expansion draft, four from CITY2, two as Homegrowns and one as a trialist to complete the MLS roster for the 2023 season.

Pfannenstiel’s roster construction, along with the decision to recruit Bradley Carnell as the team’s first head coach, was a recipe for success. Pfannenstiel and Carnell both believed in the same playing philosophy and immediately established a strong rapport, fundamental to the team’s exceptional on-pitch results. St. Louis CITY SC had one of the most successful seasons as an expansion team with a 5-0-0 start, fastest team to 25 points to begin a season, tallying an expansion-best 17 regular-season wins, becoming the first expansion team to win a regular-season conference title and the second expansion team ever to qualify for the Concacaf Champions Cup in its inaugural season.

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