Ralston introduced as first AC St. Louis player

Steve Ralston (AC ST Louis) 

Steve Ralston has spent 14 years playing in Major League Soccer. He is now set to return to where his soccer career truly began.

The long-time New England Revolution midfielder was introduced on Monday as the first player signed by NASL club AC St. Louis.

"This is a day I always dreamed would happen,” said Ralston. “I think anyone who plays professional sports wants to play in their hometown. I am fortunate to get to do just that at this stage of my career.

"Obviously it is an exciting time for soccer in St. Louis since we now have our own professional team," Ralston said. "I am honored to be the first player to become a part of this new franchise.”

Ralston will serve as a player as well as assistant coach under AC St. Louis head coach Claude Anelka.

The MLS career leader in assists (135) and games played (378), Ralston left New England after eight seasons. He is recovering from ACL surgery for an injury suffered last September and has stated he could be back in action by may. One of the last remaining MLS originals (players who have been in the league since the inaugural season in 1996), Ralston will be 36 in June.

What do you think of this news? Disappointed to see Ralston leave MLS? Think this could be the first of several players to pass on MLS offers for better deals in USL?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Socrates

    Yeah, SR is way too pasty for that shade of yellow, too. But questionable fashion sense aside, Ralston was a great MLS story — I think the league provided just the right playing level for him to mature and develop his game.

    He started out playing alongside Valderrama, doing all the necessary hustle and dirty work to form an effective partnership. Then he was a very solid winger for NE’s good 4-5 year run. Although he never had the speed to play at the international level, he was a very effective MLS wing.

    Finally, in the past 2 years, as his already limited mobility eroded further due to age and injury, Nicol played him more centrally and he demonstrated a real creative flair.

    He kind of came full circle, to the point where he was in a #10 role much like El Pibe — again, nowhere near the international-level skill, but good enough to be in the conversation as an MLS MVP the past few years.

    On top of that the guy was classy, tenacious, and easy to root for. Cheers to an MLS all-timer!


  • texans

    hum!!! Tough one this one.

    I’m 36, recovering from a knee injury. My team may not be so inclined to pay me a high salary anymore because of my age and injury. and i get to live out my lifelong dream of playing in my hometown. and i get to learn the ropes from coach while transitioning my career over to the front office.

    Yeah. That is a tough one.


  • Austin

    off topic……but,

    i saw that a certain Fernandinho was with the Red Bulls for their La Manga tournament in Spain and came on in the 86th minute of the Stromsgodset match.

    There has been confusion on a few sites today on who this player is. Many claimed it was one of the Ukrainian League’s best player, but now talk of that is cooled and nobody has any idea on who it is.

    Does anybody know?

    there is a Fernandinho in Japan aswell and there is a possibility that it is a young talent out of Brazil as well

    Ives or anybody know?


  • Eric K

    Yeah don’t forget that a Kraft operation understands one of the primary rules of a salary cap structured operation: do not overpay for guys on the downhill slope. Doing so kills your future. Your heart says ‘keep Ralston’; your brain says ‘don’t overpay for a 36 year old with two major injuries the past two years’. Hate to say it, but as good as he’s been, and as influential as he’s been for the Revs, those facts are a serious consideration.


  • Mizo

    Great idea! Send Twellman to St. Louis! As a Revs fan, I’d transfer him for a six pack of Schlitz! (He’ll never play soccer at any kind of level again, his neck issues and cockiness got the best of him). Now, onto our team of college players… camp opened today. Poor Stevie…


  • Shmenge

    The Revs are a garbage organization run by a cheapskate. The KC Royals of MLS.

    They never replaced Dempsey, Dorman, Noonan, or Parkhurst–they won’t replace Ralston with anyone nearly as good as Ralston was at 34, they certainly won’t get anyone as good as Larentowicz to play alongside Shalrie, and they’ll continue to pretend that Twellman will play a big role this year.

    The point isn’t that they got rid of Ralston–which wasn’t such a bad idea–but that they won’t replace him with anyone even close to his talent level at his peak. We’ve got proof of that from their past lack of action.


  • NJ Guy No Longer Stuck in DC

    Best of luck Steve. I wish you the best. What a classy and professional player.


  • scott

    also, if you watch the movie “The Game of Their Lives” it’s based on the 1950 US world cup team. about half the players were italian immigrants who lived in st. louis. the movie was shot on “the Hill” as aaron in stl. pointed out.
    just a side note, i lived there while the movie was being filmed so that was really cool for me.


  • Joe

    I cannot wait to buy the AC St Louis Kit with Ralson’s name on the back…I just wish they could come out with one quickly!


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