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City SC and UMSL hope students score through esports and career-building partnership

St. Louis City SC Chief Revenue Officer Dennis Moore, UMSL Chancellor Kristin Sobolik and City SC Match Day Correspondent Kristen Carver announce a partnership on Jan. 19, 2023.
Wayne Pratt
/
St. Louis Public Radio
St. Louis City SC Chief Revenue Officer Dennis Moore, UMSL Chancellor Kristin Sobolik and City SC Match Day correspondent Kristen Carver announce a partnership on Thursday.

The new Major League Soccer team in St. Louis is taking more steps to build community ties. It has a new partnership with the University of Missouri-St. Louis focusing on sports management careers and esports.

The initiatives, announced Thursday at UMSL, include a co-branded sports management curriculum. It will focus on developing the next generation of athletic directors, coaches and facility managers.

“It’s super inspiring,” UMSL women's soccer team player Kendal Janee White said shortly after the announcement. “We can kind of see how our futures are shaped. It gives us something to go after.”

 UMSL women's soccer player Kendal Janee White is originally from Houston, Texas.
Wayne Pratt
/
St. Louis Public Radio
UMSL women's soccer player Kendal Janee White is originally from Houston, Texas.

Recent sports management program graduate Jalyn Richardson also thinks the partnership will strengthen already-strong ties between UMSL and the professional soccer squad. She interned with the team last summer.

 Recent graduate Jalyn Richardson was a forward on the UMSL women's soccer team.
Wayne Pratt
/
St. Louis Public Radio
Recent graduate Jalyn Richardson was a forward on the UMSL women's soccer team.

“Right now I am in the works of getting a full-time position with City,” said the former UMSL women’s soccer team player.

“It’s really cool to see the program grow,” Richardson added.

City SC hopes that enthusiasm spreads through the partnership. The club wants to have a role in developing the next generation of leaders.

“It is our collective goal to bring new opportunities to students throughout the region,” said City SC Chief Revenue Officer Dennis Moore.

UMSL Chancellor Kristin Sobolik said it’s a big step for the school.

“Our partnership includes academic integration to provide students with internships, game day opportunities, in-class engagements with club personnel and more,” she said. “All to build a direct and diverse pipeline for the region’s workforce.”

The esports alignment comes in advance of UMSL launching its first competitive team this fall. The school will set up a gaming area to house more than 25 players in the first year. It’s not all fun and games.

The mission is to better engage those interested in innovation and technology. The school said it’s an opportunity for all students, especially those in computer science, engineering, information systems, graphic design and business programs.

UMSL will be a partner in City SC’s esports initiatives, which include recently signed eMLS player Niklas Raseck. He’s the first European FIFA video game player signed by an MLS club.

The eMLS season begins next week and wraps up in March.

City SC begins its first MLS season late next month, with its home opener set for early March.

Wayne is the morning newscaster at St. Louis Public Radio.

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