Attendance record broken in 4-0 Home Opener win

(PEORIA, Ill.) — With a fantastic crowd behind the Flying Carp Saturday night, Peoria City dominated in its Home Opener with a 4-0 victory over the Chicago Dutch Lions.

Breaking the 2023 record of 2,017, Peoria City’s Home Opener Crowd takes the crown at 2,033 people inside of Bradley University’s Shea Stadium.

In the 21st minute, Peoria City captain Charlie Dickerson advances in the attacking field, crossing it into the goalie box, finding Pepe Mellado who one-times it into the net. Carp go up 1-0.

Approximately ten minutes later, Luke Persenico will cross it into a dangerous zone near the goal, where DJ Koulai was placed perfectly for the tap in. Peoria City lead 2-0 at the half.

During the halftime intermission, Peoria City Managing Partner John Dorn joined Clutch Sports Media’s Cody Roskens for a nearly 6-minute interview. Dorn discussed the 2024 Home Opener as being one of the best soccer experiences he’s ever seen, and vision casted for the future of Peoria City. You can see the full interview now on the Peoria City YouTube channel here. The interview begins at the 1 hour 5 minute mark.

Peoria City has launched new and exciting halftime challenges for fans to enjoy. Fans can purchase a Play Pack, sponsored by Prairie Home Alliance, at all home matches. Inside the Play Packs, you’ll find that night’s giveaway, tennis balls for the halftime tennis ball challenge, tickets to the Discover Peoria Play Zone and more. Fans can throw tennis balls from the stands towards buckets Peoria City staff will have placed on the field to win great prizes.

Then, minutes later, on behalf of the River Cup Foundation, two local golf stars will take a 120-yard shot from one end of the pitch to another, to try and make a hole-and-one. Two contestants who purchased a Play Pack will be chosen from a drawing, and earn the chance to win $10,000!

Ahead of the second half, Head Coach Mike Paye told Peoria City’s creative team he wants “More Goals!” That’s exactly what he got.

Noah Madrigal, Danny Sergiev and Joao Saraiva enter the game, replacing Justin Wilson, Pepe Mellado and DJ Koulai. Sergiev and Madrigal both arrived in Peoria earlier in the week, seeing their first minutes of the 2024 season.

In the 58th minute, it would be Luke Persenico off the assist from Peoria’s hometown hero Noah Madrigal to put the Carp up 3-0.

Just minutes later in the 60th minute, a familiar face comes back to Shea Stadium and gets a familiar feeling. It will be Forward Danny Sergiev who deflects an attempted pass by the Dutch Lions, receiving a beautiful chip from teammate Luke Persenico. Sergiev sprints toward the Dutch Lions goal, dodges a player with a juke to the left, and finishes bottom right corner with a left-footed snipe. Peoria City leads 4-0.

That would do it for Peoria City’s scoring of the night. Goalkeeper Samy Slimi earns the clean sheet as the Carp win it 4-0.

Peoria City would like to thank a number of people, groups and organizations for making the 2024 Home Opener a success.

The 2024 Home Opener was the inaugural First Responders Appreciation Night, presented by Germantown Hills Athletic Association and GHAA Fire Soccer program. GHAA’s generous sponsorship allowed for all first responders and their families to enter the game for free Saturday night, receiving koozie packs, donated by Mission BBQ in Peoria.

The Peoria Police Department helped enhance the energy at Shea Stadium Saturday night. From the Bearcat, Negotiation Van and giveaway items in the Discover Peoria Play Zone, to the squad car and motorcycles sounding off their sirens and lights when Peoria City scored, we want to say thank you to PPD for joining us and making some noise!

To our food truck partners; Thank you for adding a special flare to the pregame tailgate. To The Phoenix, The Station, Top That and Triple Dipple’s, we are glad our amazing supporters got to experience your wonderful food before, or during, game time.

Peoria City has launched a number of new initiatives in the 2024 season, all of which wouldn’t be possible without our partners.

Industry Brewing, the brewer of The 309 Red lager, is the official Tailgate Zone sponsor at Shea Stadium. Thank you to the staff members who joined our tailgate Saturday evening and got to meet the Peoria City faithful.

Right next to the Industry Brewing tent, you’ll find the KISS 98.5 FM tent playing music and doing live broadcasts ahead of kickoff. We appreciate your commitment to being at the Peoria City pregame tailgates and making the Tailgate Zone an amazing experience.

Just inside the stadium to the right on the concourse, you will find the Discover Peoria Play Zone. This is a fun, family-friendly place for kids and their families to gather ahead of game time. Kids were able to shoot hoops in the Peoria City-themed Pop-A-Shot, tour the Bearcat armored vehicle brought by the Peoria Police Department, get balloon animals made by Unique Twist, and get goodie bags of freeze dried snacks from Little Bird’s Nest LLC.

We want to give a shout out to The 309 Supporters’ section at the Shea Brigade for making some noise and bringing the energy Saturday night. With a new and beautiful banner hung up at the Shea Brigade, your cheering, drums and (respectful) heckling of the opposing teams makes the Shea Brigade an intimidating place to be for any away teams. We thank you for the consistent respect postgame to our visiting teams and fans, that no matter what the end result is, Shea Stadium is a welcoming and family-friendly environment.

You will notice across the field near the team’s benches, on each side of the press box, are rows of tents with seats underneath them. We are proud to introduce the Fieldside Club, presented by Volkswagen of Peoria. These field-level seats are a fantastic way to view the game like never before. Along with complimentary waters and snacks, Peoria City players are great on interacting with the fans during the game who sit in this section.

All of the banners you see around Shea Stadium are produced by PIP Marketing, Signs, Print. Thank you for taking Shea Stadium to an even higher level of professionalism.

Peoria City is powered by the House Barbell Club. Located at 7920 N. Sommer Street in Peoria. Get 24/7 access, group and personal training, and more at The House. We look forward to furthering our partnership with The House and The Yard Peoria all year long.

We’d like to thank TDK Event Services, The Greater Peoria Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, The Fieldhouse Bar & Grill, Prairie Home Alliance and all of our River City Brews partners for supporting us all season long.

And a final THANK YOU to the 2,033 Peoria City supporters for making Shea Stadium one of the top-attended stadiums in all of USL League Two. We hope to see you for our next home game on Wednesday, May 29th against Sueño FC. You can enjoy the pregame tailgate with four more food trucks; Tropical Sno, The Long Road Home, Gramma Nana’s and Rubi’s Brickoven Pizza.

The Central Illinois Batman will be added to the Discover Peoria Play Zone. Purchase a Play Pack and you’ll receive a Peoria City-themed superhero cape!

We will also celebrate the 2024 SPHL President’s Cup Champions, the Peoria Rivermen! Join us in welcoming the Champs to Shea Stadium!

“Peoria will play home to future stars of American soccer.”
- Jim DeRose, Bradley University Head Soccer Coach

This is your team.

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