With some of their most passionate fans dubbed “True North Elite,” it’s only fitting that Minnesota United FC’s first home game was the coldest match to ever be played in Major League Soccer (MLS). If you don’t know as much about the club as the 35,043 folks who braved the snowy, 19-degree home opener, we’ll get you up to speed.
- The team’s nickname is “The Loons,” a nod to Minnesota’s state bird.
- The Loons are making their temporary home at TCF Bank on the University of Minnesota campus while their official stadium is under construction in Saint Paul’s Midway neighborhood.
- The team is comprised of players from 12 countries, with 12 Americans and two Minnesotans. Head coach, Adrian Heath, hails from England.
- Minnesota United moved up from the North American Soccer League, becoming the sixth MLS expansion team to join from a lower division and increasing the league to a total of 22 clubs.
- The Loons join Minnesota’s 40-year legacy of soccer, starting with the Kicks who played at the old Met in 1976.
- The bullseye found smack dab in the middle of the United jerseys is a result of Target’s sponsorship. In addition to sponsoring the hometown team, Target is an official partner of MLS.
- The unique crest was strategically designed to represent the state with a six-pointed star to signify the star of the North, the loon as Minnesota’s state bird, grey color to represent Minnesota’s Iron Range and a blue stripe for the Mississippi River. The two sides of the crest represent the Twin Cities (Saint Paul and Minneapolis) and the loon’s placement, centered and overlaying the entire crest, represents how the different Minnesota regions are “United” in support of the game.
- Diehard Minnesota soccer fans have divided themselves into three distinct support groups – Dark Clouds, Wolf’s Head and True North Elite. Dark Clouds, the oldest and largest group, formed in 2004 in support of the Minnesota Thunder and have stuck by the state’s professional soccer through the stormiest of days. The Iron Range has its own support group, with Wolf’s Head consisting of fans from the Twin Ports of Duluth and Superior, Wisconsin. True North Elite formed in 2015 as an all-inclusive support group driven by aggressive support and club involvement.
- United will play 34 games between March 3 and October 22. Grab tickets to one of their 17 home matches here.