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The Major League Soccer expansion team St. Louis City SC notched its first ever home victory last weekend, defeating Charlotte FC in front of a sold-out crowd. For Carolyn Kindle, the team’s CEO and president, it was almost like a “proud parent moment.”

“That last Saturday was a celebration for all of the hard work that this region has put in to support me and our entire team,” she told CBS News Wednesday. “This would not have happened if it wasn’t for them.” 

But that wasn’t the only history-making moment to happen for Kindle. She is also the first female president and CEO of an MLS team. She is also part of the league’s first women-led ownership group. 

However, running a sports franchise was an unexpected turn of events for someone who didn’t grow up a soccer aficionado. 

“This was sort of never where I thought my career was gonna go,” she said. 

The ownership group of St. Louis CITY SC pose for a photo before the start of a game between Charlotte FC and St. Louis City SC on March 4, 2023. 

Rick Ulreich/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Kindle is the granddaughter of Enterprise Rent-A-Car founder Jack Taylor, and serves as president of the company’s foundation, the Enterprise Holdings Foundation. In 2018, Kindle and others who became part of the St. Louis City SC ownership group — which includes some family members — saw an opportunity to “do something for the city of St. Louis” — her hometown. 

“One of the things I’ve said from the beginning was I wanted to make sure we got St. Louis back on the international map,” Kindle said. 

Fast forward to today: Legions of soccer followers are buzzing over the U.S. national men’s team’s recent performance in the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, the tournament coming to North America in 2026, and the addition of St. Louis City SC to the MLS, the eight team the league has added in less than 10 years. 

Before the team even played its first game, 60,000 season ticket deposits were placed. St. Louis City SC has a new stadium, CITYPARK, that seats 22,500, and a new practice facility, all within a 31-plus acre campus. CITYPARK also has more women’s bathrooms than men’s, details that come with having majority women’s ownership, Kindle said. 

Carolyn Kindle (right) is the first Major League Soccer team’s first female CEO and president. March 4, 2023. 

St. Louis City SC

But it all goes back to one thing for Kindle. She hopes the team — St. Louis’ third major professional sports franchise — will bring “everybody together.” 

Kindle said she draws inspiration from the “strong, successful” women in her family that have guided her. On Women’s International Day, Kindle had a message for other women and girls looking to climb the ranks. 

“I think you just have to pursue your dreams, and along the way, you’re gonna have to be able to ask for help…But if you really, truly believe in yourself and believe in what you’re doing, you will get it done.”