BGFC Spring Season Concludes with Early Playoff Exit

The Bowling Green Football Club’s (BGFC) spring 2023 season comes to an end as the MLS youth academy St. Louis City roots the Golden Lions four to one in the UPSL Kentucky/Tennessee Conference Semi-Final.

After a three-hour rain delay that pushed the kick from 5 PM to 8 PM, the match was ready to start. However, while waiting out the rain, the match officials left the grounds. Yes, you read that correctly. The match officials saw the rain, ran to their cars, and left the facilities with no intention of officiate the match. This left the St. Louis City Academy coaching staff in conjunction with UPSL Kentucky/Tennessee Conference Commissioner, Daniel Gordon, scrambled to find replacement officials thus delaying kick-off by another 30 minutes. After all the delays, the Kentucky/Tennessee Conference Semi-Final was FINALLY underway. 

The first eight minutes of the match were very balanced as both teams had really good opportunities. However, it was St. Louis City Academy that scored first in the ninth minute as BGFC keeper #1 Oliver Gonzalez made a poor play on the ball and St. Louis made him pay. BGFC kept fighting and nearly had the equalizer in the 18th minute but they could not pounce on the opportunity. 

St. Louis City Academy regained their composure and had the better opportunities for next the seven minutes. However, BGFC won a free kick from the top of the box in the 28th minute. The attempt was taken by Golden Lions Captain #10 Michael Sweirkosz as he curved a shot around the STLCA wall and keeper drawing the match back to even, 1-1. 

The remainder of the first half favored the home side, STLCA. The MLS academy team had some good press and had the better of the chances. They would be rewarded for their work with a 44th-minute goal. The score basically sent the match to half as it was not long before the whistle to signal the end of the first half. Two to one in favor of the home side.

After some VERY passionate speeches during the break, BGFC came out with more fire and fight. However, it was St. Louis City again answering the BGFC attack with more pressure and in the 49th minute they scored to take a commanding 3-1 lead; the route was on. 

After scoring their third, St. Louis really started surgically dismantling BGFC with their pressure. BGFC was less crisp with their attacking efforts and STLCA was able to collect several turnovers. One of these turnovers leads to St. Louis’ fourth and final goal was in the 64th minute. While BGFC keeper Gonzalez tried his best to keep the Golden Lions in the match, their lack of attacking weapons held the team back. Most noticeable was the absence of BGFC’s young star, Will Bryan, as without their leading goal scorer, the Golden Lions could not keep pace with St. Louis. 

As the final whistle blew of the match and their season, the pain set in for the Golden Lions as several players fell to their knees in exhaustion. After one of the best regular seasons in BGFC history, they finished in the exact same spot as they did last spring, bowing out as the three seed in the conference semifinal. 

This is where things get complicated for BGFC. They had more talent than they have had since their championship run in Spring 2021, but they could not see the same success. Yes, the conference they play in is better now than it was. It is honestly one of the more competitive conferences in all of the United Premier Soccer League. Yes, none of the players get paid. However, there is a clear difference in how more professional teams like Beamen United and St. Louis City Academy approaches training and development. On the other hand, BGFC does not have that same level of commitment and camaraderie as the top two teams in the conference. At some point, they either need to start paying their players or reevaluate their tactics. BGFC will have a short “off-season” to make changes as they immediately start prepping for their fall season that will kick off in September.

Until then, make sure you stick to Bluegrass Soccer Cast for full coverage of BGFC and all our favorite team’s. 


  • Jimmie Martin

    Jimmie Martin is a charismatic soccer podcast host from Kentucky who passionately advocates for Promotion and Relegation in US Soccer. With infectious enthusiasm and a lighthearted sense of humor, he engages fellow enthusiasts on the Bluegrass Soccer Cast. Jimmie's goal is to promote the growth of soccer in the US while entertaining and educating his audience.

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