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You don’t need to know Spanish to chant with STL Santos. The group will teach you

Members of STL Santos march to the game against Minnesota United SC on April 1, 2023. Some carry bright red flags saying their slogan, “Vamos City.” Others carry cardboard cutouts of the group’s founder, Carlos Restrepo. Some wear yellow and red luchador masks. All look excited, and some look like they are in the middle of chanting.
Lara Hamdan
St. Louis Public Radio
Members of STL Santos march to the St. Louis City SC soccer game against Minnesota United SC on April 1. The banner at the front of the crowd carries the STL Santos slogan, "Vamos City!" A cardboard cutout bearing a photo of STL Santos founder Carlos Restrepo can be seen at the front.

Lee este reporte en español.

"Soy de St. Louis City. ¡Es un sentimiento que no puedo parar!"

Before the April 1 match against Minnesota United SC, a new St. Louis City SC support group, STL Santos taught this chant to fans inside and outside of the stadium — including many non-Spanish speakers. The chant translates to: “I’m from St. Louis City. It is a feeling I can’t stop!”

“That was a very exciting … beautiful moment for us,” said Isabel Díaz, vice president of the STL Santos board of directors.

Compared to other soccer support groups, STL Santos is unique in its leadership because it is mostly comprised of Hispanic and Latina women. This is important to percussion committee chair Patricia Sánchez de Andrei because, she said, people often (falsely) consider soccer as a primarily masculine sport.

Being part of STL Santos helps Sánchez de Andrei meet people from different Spanish-speaking cultures and backgrounds. “Sometimes I hear words and phrases that I don't recognize because it's something that's not said in Mexico,” she said. “It's encouraging to me to see other native [Spanish] speakers say, ‘Hey, you use this phrase, what does that mean?’ I'm glad I'm not the only one.”

Every month STL Santos collects donations at tailgate parties for a different local Hispanic- and Latino-focused nonprofit. “Different support groups have different roles,” Sánchez de Andrei said, “and ours is focused on the Latin American community, the Hispanic community.”

The tailgate parties are big and come complete with DJs and dancing. One time, Díaz said, the famed “Toasted Ravioli Man” made an appearance.

“We do things with a lot of passion,” Díaz said. “The majority of the group is Spanish speaking, but we have a lot of people who appreciate our culture and want to be there. … STL Santos is for everyone.”

Related Event
What: Tailgate party benefiting St. Louis Crisis Nursery 
When: 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. April 29
Where: Beffa's STL (2700 Olive St., St. Louis, MO 63103)

Learn a chant before the next St. Louis City SC game by listening to St. Louis on the Air on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or by clicking the play button below.

You don’t need to be fluent in Spanish to chant with STL Santos. They’ll teach you

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is produced by Miya Norfleet, Emily Woodbury, Danny Wicentowski, Elaine Cha and Alex Heuer. Avery Rogers is our production assistant. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr. Send questions and comments about this story to talk@stlpr.org

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Avery is the Production Assistant for "St. Louis On The Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.
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