Men's professional soccer is set to return to St. Louis, this time under the team name AC St. Louis, which will be among 10 founding franchises in a resurrected version of the North American Soccer League.
The initials "AC" were chosen in appreciation of the support the team has received from members of the Missouri Athletic Club, according to Jeff Cooper.
Cooper, a well-respected Illinois attorney with the Simmons Law Firm, is a former college star at DePauw University.
He graduated in 1991 from DePauw University with a B.A. degree in political science and with a J.D. degree from St. Louis University Law School in 1995.
Cooper, who formerly sat on the board of the English League One football club Brentford, is recognized as one of the most influential persons in soccer in the US after helping establish the Women's Professional Soccer league and the reinvented NASL.
Jeff Cooper is also the owner and chairman of Saint Louis Athletica of Women’s Professional Soccer and his St. Louis Soccer United group oversees the largest youth soccer program in the Midwest, St. Louis Scott Gallagher, which is headquartered at the Anheuser-Busch Soccer Park that in March was transferred to St. Louis Soccer United.
Cooper introduced his partners in the venture, Sanjeev and Heemal Vaid, brothers living in Britain who have invested in ventures ranging from fast food franchises to commodity trading (and now soccer). The team logo also was unveiled. It is a stylized fleur-de-lis - called a "Flame-de-lis," with a background curved to suggest the Gateway Arch.