Minnesota United FC

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This article is about the Major League Soccer team starting in 2017. For the North American Soccer League team, see Minnesota United FC (2010–16).
Minnesota United
Minnesota United FC (MLS) Primary logo.svg
Full name Minnesota United Football Club
Nickname(s) The Loons[1]
Founded March 25, 2015; 22 months ago (2015-03-25)
Stadium TCF Bank Stadium
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Stadium
capacity
52,525
Owner Bill McGuire
Head Coach Adrian Heath
League Major League Soccer
Website Club home page
Current season

Minnesota United FC is a Major League Soccer (MLS) expansion franchise based in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul area. The club will begin play in 2017, as a member of the Western Conference.[2][3] The team is the league's 22nd and replaced the North American Soccer League (NASL) franchise of the same name.

The club plans to play in Saint Paul (becoming the city's second professional sports team after the Minnesota Wild), in a stadium to be built at an old "bus barn" site in the Midway neighborhood.[4]

Minnesota United FC's ownership is led by Bill McGuire, former CEO of UnitedHealth Group, and includes other Minnesota sports owners: the Pohlad family, owners of the Twins; Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor; former Wild investor Glen Nelson, and his daughter Wendy Carlson Nelson of the Carlson hospitality company.

Minnesota United are the sixth MLS expansion team to join from a lower division, following Seattle Sounders FC (2009), Vancouver Whitecaps FC (2011), Portland Timbers (2011), Montreal Impact (2012), and Orlando City SC (2015).[5]

History[edit]

On March 25, 2015, Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber announced Minnesota United as the league's 23rd club and awarded the franchise to a group led by former UnitedHealth CEO Bill McGuire. The ownership group includes other Minneapolis sports owners, Twins owner Jim Pohlad, Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor, and Wild investor Glen Nelson. They beat out a competing bid by Minnesota Vikings owners Mark and Zygi Wilf.[6][7] Garber said Minnesota would begin play in 2017 or 2018 – if Los Angeles FC is not ready to play in 2017, Minnesota would take its place.[8]

McGuire bought the team, then named the Minnesota Stars, in November 2012 when it was under NASL's caretaker ownership.[9] In September 2013, 2020 Partnership, a consortium of Downtown Minneapolis businesses, approached United about building a soccer-specific stadium by the Minneapolis Farmers Market near Target Field.[10]

The Minnesota Legislature had passed a bill in May 2012 for a new NFL stadium projected to open by fall 2016 and gave a provision allowing for the Vikings to pursue an MLS franchise,[11] including a five-year exclusive window to host MLS games in the new stadium.[12] The Wilfs' bid also had the support of Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges, and Minnesota Senator Tom Bakk called Major League Soccer to inform them that the state legislature would not be providing financing for a soccer-specific stadium.[13] However, Commissioner Garber said that whenever possible, the league preferred a stadium that would be an "outdoor, soccer-specific stadium, 20,000 seats, playing on grass" as opposed to larger, covered venues with artificial turf like U.S. Bank Stadium,[14] and McGuire had the support of Hennepin County Commissioner Mike Opat and at least three members of the Minneapolis City Council.[13]

On August 19, 2016, it was announced that Minnesota United would play in the 2017 Major League Soccer season, with home matches at TCF Bank Stadium.[15][16][17]

Stadium[edit]

Coordinates: 44°57′10″N 93°09′54″W / 44.9528°N 93.1651°W / 44.9528; -93.1651 McGuire stated a desire to build an 18,500-seat, outdoor soccer-specific stadium next to the Minneapolis Farmers Market in downtown Minneapolis.[18] At the time of the club's launch, the league did not give any timeline for the stadium plan, but said it was working on finalizing a plan by July 1, 2015, the deadline set by the league.[13] Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton said he would oppose a publicly financed stadium, but said he would not oppose ancillary support for infrastructure reinforcements.[14]

In a plan released in April 2015, the ownership showed a projected cost for the stadium of $250 million: $100 million for MLS expansion fee, $30 million for land acquisition, and $120 million for construction.[13] The ownership group met with Governor Dayton and other state political leaders to share the plan.[19] The group asked the politicians for a sales tax exemption of up to $3 million on construction materials, as well as breaks or caps on city and county property taxes for the stadium site.[20] The tax relief could potentially add up to around $50 million.[13]

The day after the meeting, Mayor Hodges said she opposed the sales tax and property tax exemption because unlike other stadiums in Minneapolis that have received similar breaks, Minnesota United's stadium would be privately owned.[21] The following week, the Minnesota Senate voted 61-4 to prevent any state funds or tax expenditures from being used for the stadium, although the vote was termed "largely symbolic" as McGuire had not asked for state funds and the bill would not prevent the team from seeking city or county funds.[22] McGuire later said that he would be open to signing the property over to Minneapolis, Hennepin County or another public entity if that would make property tax exemption possible.[23]

Although the July 1 deadline passed without a stadium deal and the plan for a Downtown Minneapolis stadium was the primary reason for choosing McGuire's group, league deputy commissioner Mark Abbott said Minnesota was still considered an expansion site, partly because of interest from the neighboring St. Paul.[24] Later that month, St. Paul mayor Chris Coleman spoke to Abbott proposed building on a city-owned vacant lot that formerly housed the Metro Transit bus barn near Interstate 94.[25]

On August 31, 2015, the team's deal for an exclusive right to purchase industrial land near the Farmer's Market expired with no public statement about any extension of the deal.[26]

On September 8, 2015, the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners passed a non-binding resolution to support the stadium's construction on the St. Paul bus barn site, provided the design and construction are paid for by private funds.[27] On October 23, 2015, it was announced that Minnesota United would build a stadium on the 35-acre St. Paul Bus Barn site.[28] The proposed stadium will seat approximately 20,000, is to be completed in 2018, and will be privately financed.[29]

On November 25, 2015, Minnesota United FC hired Populous to design the stadium.[30] On December 9, 2015, the team hired Mortenson Construction as part of the stadium construction along with Populous.[31]

On February 24, 2016, the team revealed design plans for their 21,500-seat soccer-specific stadium, set to be built by 2018 and financed privately by the team.[32]

Players and staff[edit]

Players[edit]

As of January 31, 2017 [33]
No. Position Player Nation
1 Goalkeeper Alvbåge, JohnJohn Alvbåge (on loan from IFK Göteborg)  Sweden
2 Defender Davis, JustinJustin Davis  United States
4 Defender Taylor, JermaineJermaine Taylor  Jamaica
5 Defender Calvo, FranciscoFrancisco Calvo  Costa Rica
6 Defender Demidov, VadimVadim Demidov  Norway
7 Midfielder , IbsonIbson  Brazil
8 Midfielder Saeid, MohammedMohammed Saeid  Sweden
9 Forward Danladi, AbuAbu Danladi (GA)  Ghana
10 Midfielder Ibarra, MiguelMiguel Ibarra  United States
11 Midfielder Venegas, JohanJohan Venegas  Costa Rica
12 Defender Greenspan, JosephJoseph Greenspan  United States
13 Midfielder de Villardi, ThomasThomas de Villardi  France
14 Defender Kallman, BrentBrent Kallman  United States
16 Forward Kadrii, BashkimBashkim Kadrii (on loan from FC Copenhagen)  Denmark
17 Midfielder Martin, CollinCollin Martin  United States
18 Midfielder Molino, KevinKevin Molino  Trinidad and Tobago
20 Midfielder Schüller, RasmusRasmus Schüller  Finland
21 Forward Ramirez, ChristianChristian Ramirez  United States
22 Defender Venegas, KevinKevin Venegas  United States
23 Midfielder Añor, BernardoBernardo Añor  Venezuela
24 Goalkeeper McLain, PatrickPatrick McLain  United States
26 Midfielder Warner, CollenCollen Warner  United States
27 Midfielder Thompson, TannerTanner Thompson  United States
30 Forward Gatt, JoshJosh Gatt  United States
35 Goalkeeper Ferrell, AlecAlec Ferrell  United States
Goalkeeper Shuttleworth, BobbyBobby Shuttleworth  United States

Management[edit]

Team records[edit]

Year MLS Regular season Position MLS Cup
Playoffs
U.S.
Open Cup
CONCACAF
Champions League
P W L D GF GA Pts Conf. Overall
2017 TBD TBD DNQ

Record vs. international opponents[edit]

Date Competition Venue Home Team Result Away Team
February 3, 2017 Friendly Kino Sports Complex, Casa Grande, Arizona Minnesota United FC 1–1 Croatia NK Istra 1961

References[edit]

  1. ^ "RSL v MNU 2017 MLS Preseason Match". MNUFC.com. February 14, 2017. 
  2. ^ "Atlanta to join Eastern Conference in 2017, Minnesota to compete in West". Major League Soccer. August 20, 2016. Retrieved November 19, 2016. 
  3. ^ David La Vaque; Jessie Van Berkel (August 19, 2016). "Minnesota United is joining Major League Soccer in 2017". Star Tribune. Retrieved August 20, 2016. 
  4. ^ MLSsoccer staff (October 23, 2015). "Minnesota United FC announce plan for new St. Paul stadium". MLSsoccer.com. MLS. Retrieved October 24, 2015. 
  5. ^ "MAKE WAY FOR MINNESOTA MLS' 23rd team to begin play in 2018". Big Apple Soccer. March 25, 2015. Retrieved March 25, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Major League Soccer awards expansion team to Minnesota that will begin play in 2018". Major League Soccer. March 25, 2015. Retrieved August 20, 2016. 
  7. ^ Baxter, Kevin (March 25, 2015). "MLS awards 23rd franchise to Minneapolis". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 25, 2015. 
  8. ^ Stejskal, Sam (March 25, 2015). "MLS Commissioner Don Garber: Minneapolis represents everything that is spurring growth of MLS". Major League Soccer. Retrieved March 27, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Now or Never for Pro Soccer in Minnesota? Bill McGuire Resurrects the MN Stars Franchise as Minnesota United". Twin Cities Business. April 19, 2013. Retrieved March 25, 2015. 
  10. ^ Greder, Andy (June 10, 2014). "Pro soccer: Vikings go public with push for MLS team in Minnesota". St. Paul Pioneer Press. Retrieved March 25, 2015. 
  11. ^ Brian Quarstad (May 12, 2012). "MLS Commissioner Don Garber Says Minnesota "Goes on List" with New Vikings Stadium". Insidemnsoccer.com.com. Retrieved May 12, 2012. 
  12. ^ Vomhof, Jr., John (December 11, 2013). "Another downtown stadium? Somebody wants one". Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. 
  13. ^ a b c d e Turner, Elliott (April 22, 2015). "MINNESOTA DISUNITED: THE FIGHT OVER AN MLS STADIUM IN MINNEAPOLIS". Vice Sports. 
  14. ^ a b Roper, Eric. "Stadium plan is crucial next step for MLS in Minneapolis". Minneapolis Star Tribune. Retrieved March 25, 2015. 
  15. ^ Stejskal, Sam (August 19, 2016). "Minnesota United FC to join MLS in 2017, debuting at TCF Bank Stadium". Major League Soccer. Retrieved August 20, 2016. 
  16. ^ "Minnesota United Begin MLS Play In 2017". Minnesota United FC. August 19, 2016. Retrieved August 20, 2016. 
  17. ^ La Vaque, David; Van Berkel, Jessie (August 19, 2016). "Minnesota United is joining Major League Soccer in 2017". Star Tribune. Retrieved August 19, 2016. 
  18. ^ Kaszuba, Mike; Dennis Brackin (March 24, 2015). "MLS to make 'major announcement' Wednesday at Target Field". Minneapolis Star Tribune. Retrieved March 25, 2015. 
  19. ^ Greder, Andy (April 14, 2015). "United FC asks for tax relief on privately financed stadium". St. Paul Pioneer Press. Retrieved April 20, 2015. 
  20. ^ "Minnesota United owner meets with governor over tax ememptions". Associated Press. April 14, 2015. Retrieved April 20, 2015. 
  21. ^ Golden, Erin (April 15, 2015). "Minneapolis mayor rejects tax break plan for soccer stadium". Minneapolis Star Tribune. Retrieved April 22, 2015. 
  22. ^ Codon, Patrick (April 20, 2015). "Senate votes to bar state money for soccer stadium". Minneapolis Star Tribune. Retrieved April 22, 2015. 
  23. ^ Gilbert, Curtis (April 30, 2015). "United owner Bill McGuire open to public stadium ownership". Minnesota Public Radio. Retrieved May 6, 2015. 
  24. ^ Straus, Brian (July 1, 2015). "MLS's stadium deadline passes, but Minnesota still in play for expansion". Planet Fútbol. Sports Illustrated. 
  25. ^ Greder, Andy; Frederick Melo (July 10, 2015). "Soccer in St. Paul: Mayor pushes Snelling site for MLS stadium". Pioneer Press. Retrieved July 14, 2015. 
  26. ^ Roper, Eric (September 1, 2015). "Minneapolis soccer stadium land deal ends in silence". Star Tribune. Retrieved September 3, 2015. 
  27. ^ Melo, Frederick (September 8, 2015). "Ramsey County approves St. Paul soccer stadium resolution". St. Paul Pioneer Press. 
  28. ^ Melo, Frederick (October 23, 2015). "Minnesota United FC announce plan for new St. Paul stadium resolution". Major League Soccer. 
  29. ^ "A vision for the future - Minnesota United". Minnesota United FC. Retrieved October 26, 2015. 
  30. ^ "Minnesota United hire Populous as architect for new St. Paul stadium". Major League Soccer. November 24, 2015. Retrieved December 5, 2016. 
  31. ^ Walsh, James (December 9, 2015). "Minnesota United picks Mortenson to build stadium". Star Tribune. Retrieved December 5, 2016. 
  32. ^ Bedakian, Armen. "Minnesota United Reveal Plans for New Soccer-Specific Stadium". The Score. Retrieved February 25, 2016. 
  33. ^ "Minnesota United FC Roster". mnunitedfc.com. Retrieved January 10, 2017. 
  34. ^ a b c d e "Front Office Staff". Minnesota United FC. Retrieved May 18, 2015. 
  35. ^ "Technical Staff". Minnesota United FC. Retrieved May 18, 2015. 
  36. ^ a b c d e "Minnesota United Names Head Coach". Minnesota United FC. Retrieved November 28, 2016. 

External links[edit]