When Carolyn Kindle set out to bring the St Louis community together and “elevate the city back to an international map” she did not intend to also make history.
But that is exactly what she did when she founded St Louis City SC and became the first female president and CEO of a Major League Soccer (MLS) team – and the league’s first with a majority female ownership group.
“It makes me proud, but it’s interesting because it’s just the way my family is built because we’re mostly females,” Kindle explained to BBC Sport.
The club’s ownership group is made up of seven women and two men from Kindle’s family, who also own Enterprise Rent-A-Car, which was founded by Kindle’s grandfather.
“It was funny, everybody laughed because we’re just used to it, and then all of a sudden it was like ‘oh wow, we have this incredible angle,'” Kindle added.
“The women in that ownership group are all extremely successful in their own right.
“I’ve been very fortunate to be surrounded by successful businesswomen of all walks of life. It was a good fit that only added to the story of City SC.”
St Louis is steeped in football history: five members of the 1950 World Cup team that defeated England in a historic victory were from the Missouri city, and current USA squad members Josh Sargent and Fulham’s Tim Ream are also from there.
However, until now, the city has lacked a professional football team.
“I like to think of it as a perfect storm – I think it took the right ownership group with the right business plan to really come in and sell the club,” Kindle said.
“We offered a package that they [MLS] couldn’t refuse, and I believe we more than delivered.”