ST. LOUIS – Saint Louis FC, which just began its second season in the United Soccer League (USL), features a large contingent of personnel associated with the Saint Louis men’s soccer program. Including the front office, technical staff and players, there are 10 former or current Billikens who are contributing to the club’s success.
“Given SLU’s long tradition of sending players to the next level, it’s not surprising that there are a large number of former players playing for our city’s top professional team,” SLU head coach Mike McGinty said. “It is great to have many of our former players still playing in our back yard. There are great people at Saint Louis FC, and we are very much invested in their success and wish them nothing but the best.”
Below is a listing of current and former Billikens with ties to Saint Louis FC. The Billikens will play a team from Saint Louis FC in a friendly this Sunday at Hermann Stadium. First kick is scheduled for 1 p.m.
Brandon Barklage, MF – Barklage, an All-Conference selection for the Billikens in 2008, is in his second season with Saint Louis FC. Barklage has enjoyed a prosperous professional career, having played in Major League Soccer with D.C. United, the New York Red Bulls and the San Jose Earthquakes.
Jacob Bushue, MF – Bushue, the Billikens’ senior graduate manager, is in his second season with Saint Louis FC. Last season, he started 15 of the club’s 25 matches and tallied a goal and an assist.
Vince Cicciarelli, MF – Cicciarelli led the Billikens in scoring in his only season at SLU in 2015. He is off to a quick start at Saint Louis FC, having been named to the USL Team of the Week in consecutive weeks. Cicciarelli has three goals on the year to lead the team.
Tyler David, MF – David, a rookie for Saint Louis FC after starting for the Billikens his entire four-year SLU career, has appeared in three matches. He started in Saint Louis FC’s 3-1 win over the Orange County Blues.
Jim Kavanaugh, CEO – Kavanaugh, the Co-Founder and CEO of World Wide Technology, Inc., played for the Billikens in the 1980s. He went on to play professionally for the St. Louis Steamers and was a member of the United States Olympic Team.
Tim Leonard, Assistant Coach – Leonard is in his second season as an assistant coach at Saint Louis FC. He played four years at SLU and captained the 1997 squad that advanced to the NCAA College Cup.
Bill McDermott, Announcer – Mr. Soccer is back as an announcer on Saint Louis FC’s games on 550 KTRS and YouTube. He graduated from SLU in 1970 and helped the Billikens to NCAA titles in 1967 and 1969. McDermott has served as the PA announcer at SLU men’s soccer games since 1972 and Billiken women’s soccer games since the program’s inception in 1996.
Mark Pais, GK – Pais is in his second season with Saint Louis FC. Last year, he started eight games between the posts and recorded 25 saves. Pais played for the Billikens for three years. After playing one year at Tulsa, he returned to SLU to serve as a graduate senior manager.
Tom Strunk, CFO – Strunk also serves as the CFO of World Wide Technology, Inc. He played for the Billikens from 1985 to 1988, twice earning first-team All-Conference honors while accumulating 21 career points (5G, 11A). Strunk also played professionally for the St. Louis Steamers.
Chad Vandegriffe, D – Vandegriffe is in his second year at Saint Louis FC. He played in 20 matches a season ago. Previously, Vandegriffe played with the St. Louis Ambush in the Major Indoor Soccer League.