The Twin Cities is a haven for sports fans. Not only are we one of the few metros to have all major sports teams represented, but our teams also play in some pretty great stadiums. There’s almost always a team in season, and now we can add a new one to the mix: the Minnesota United FC. Our newly named professional soccer team kicks off their season this very weekend.
While the Minnesota United FC (formally the Minnesota Stars) may not have as big of a following as some of our other pro teams, and the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome (where they’ll play their first five games) may not be our grandest stadium, they’re both distinctly Minnesotan. The team has a passionate and dedicated following and the Metrodome is an iconic fixture of the city, which makes attending a game all the more fun. (Not to mention, the players are awesome; the Minnesota Stars they took home the 2011 North American Soccer League (NASL) championship and finished in second last year!)
The team you see this year will look and play a little different though. They’ve signed a handful of new players, including NASL most valuable players Pablos Campos and Etienne Barbara. And they’ll be playing in new uniforms under a new name, a decision that was announced last month. According to the team’s owner Bill McGuire, the new name is a tribute to the team’s vision of being a community asset around which many different groups can unite in fandom.
The team will play their first game this Saturday against the San Antonio Scorpions, and before moving back to the National Sports Center in Blaine, play four other games at the Metrodome: April 20 vs. FC Edmonton, May 4 vs. Carolina RailHawks, May 18 vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies, and June 8 vs. Fort Lauderdale Strikers.
Tip: The Minnesota United FC has partnered with Metro Transit, offering free bus and light rail rides to and from games played at the Metrodome.
Photos by Jeremy Olson, digitalgopher.com