EARTH CITY, Mo. (KMOX) – Dan Gargan and the Lou Fusz Soccer Club won’t be hiding all of the remanence of the former tenants of Rams Park in Earth City. Instead the new general manager, Dan Gargan, says it will be a reminder of how lucky his soccer club is to work in the ‘impressive’ facility.
“It’s been a world-class facility for professional athletes, and professional athletic space usually is hidden away,” Gargan says. “And that’s the way it’s suppose to be, and now we have the opportunity and ability to open it up and allow people to use this great space.”
Gargan gave KMOX a tour of the former practice facility of the St. Louis Rams, which features three full-size outdoor fields, a full-size indoor field, and large rooms that will be developed into indoor strength and conditioning areas.
Lou Fusz Soccer Club purchased the rights to take over the facility in February, just six months after its new GM was hired.
Gargan’s 12-year MLS career ended in 2016, playing professionally in Chicago, Toronto, Los Angeles and other cities. He was working as a TV analyst for the Galaxy before taking a job to work for Pete Fusz, President of Lou Fusz Athletic, who was Gargan’s freshman-year roommate at Georgetown University.
Lou Fusz Soccer Club, which serves more than 4,000 youth athletes in St. Louis, is celebrating it’s 25th Anniversary in 2017. It’s adding to its current complex in Creve Coeur, has begun a new Blue Star Player Development program and will unveil its new soccer crest this Wednesday as part of a rebrand of the company.
The former Rams’ facility is still going under major renovations, but is already in use. Lou Fusz hosted more than 300 teams around the region for it’s Midwest Spring Invitational, last weekend.
“You see all the kids that are experiencing this, all the kids and families that are walking in. And every single one of them walk around and are like ‘Wow, this incredible,’” Gargan says.
Although the Bermuda grass fields still need some time to return to form, the artificial fields are being used for regular training sessions. And the rooms that once held the Rams’ locker room and weightlifting equipment will soon become strength and conditioning rooms.
As you leave what was once the Rams locker room, there’s an overhead sign featuring Rams logos with “A WINNING TRADITION” stated above a list of years the franchise made the NFL playoffs, between 1945 and 2004. And Gargan is going to leave small mementos like that right where they are.
“So as you walk around, you’ll see different little pieces that the Rams left here,” Gargan says. “A reminder that this is a world-class facility. And when kids come in here and see these things, they’ll remember that Issac Bruce, trained here, Torry Holt trainer here, Kurt Warner used to throw bombs out back.”