Steamers plan to add a woman to roster
By Zack Creglow
Of the Post-Dispatch

St. Louis Steamers owner Michael Hetelson read from a laundry list of promotions ranging from the signings of two draft picks to the team's reality TV show to mentioning the Steamers' games are a great place for singles to meet, all in hope they will continue to bolster fan support.

But once he announced Thursday the Steamers had acquired the rights to Lindsay Kennedy, everything he had said before quickly became a footnote.

Kennedy, a former Alton standout who will start practicing with the team next Tuesday, could become the second women to play on a men's professional soccer team. From the way Hetelson spoke, it appears the Steamers, with the support of the Major Indoor Soccer League, will allow that to happen.

"Our plans are to bring Lindsay in and let her practice with the team and when the time is right, we can give her some game time," Hetelson said. "Our plans are to get her into a game this season, and there are a number of things we need to do to do that and be comfortable with that."

After a prep career at Alton, Kennedy played one season at Kansas in 1998 before transferring to Harris-Stowe of the NAIA. At Harris-Stowe, she set school records, including points in a season with 56, assists in a season with 11 and goals in a game with five.

Since the Women's United Soccer Association folded, the only place for Kennedy to play has been in a men's league on Tuesday nights. She had brief stints in the WUSA shortly after college.

"There's no place for me to play right now," said Kennedy. "I am just going to go out here and try hard. I am not looking to make an impact right now. I am looking to make a contribution."

After being informed of the decision to acquire Kennedy last week, Steamers player-head coach Daryl Doran scouted her Tuesday, concerned the move was a publicity stunt. After all, his first reaction to the news was "Are you kidding?"

"She definitely can play. She shows for the ball real well, she keeps possession real well," said Doran, indoor soccer's all-time leader in games played at 789. "Michael is Michael and we've definitely done some controversial stuff since he's been here. But when I watched her play, she had the tools to play."

Seemingly lost in the day's news was the signing of midfielder Mariano Bollella and forward Marco Lopez and the reality TV series "Red Card," which premieres Feb. 12 on KPLR.

Said Kennedy, "If I go out and work hard and do as well as everyone else, I feel like I deserve the same chance as other men out there."