It has been nearly 40 years since Minnesota had a top division soccer team. That all changes when Minnesota United kicks off with Major League Soccer. The raucous support of United will echo high through the St. Paul skyline as the Loons fluster opponents on the pitch and assert North American dominance in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.
Minnesota United was awarded an expansion spot in Major League Soccer on March 25, 2015 and shortly thereafter announced its intention to build a state of the art soccer stadium in St. Paul at the center of downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul. Construction of that stadium is expected to begin in summer of 2016 with United joining MLS in 2017.
The original North American Soccer League lasted from 1968 to 1984. In that period of time, high level soccer was brought to North America by world class superstar players, including Pele, Johan Cruyff, Franz Beckenhauer, George Best, and Bobby Moore, among others.
The league started a second chapter in 2011 with an eight-team league featuring teams from the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. United FC enjoyed a magical run to the league championship game, the Soccer Bowl, where it defeated the Fort Lauderdale Strikers across to claim the reborn league’s inaugural championship.
The NASL brought the Kicks to Minnesota and professional soccer has been a part of the sports landscape in the land of 10,000 lakes ever since. The Minnesota Thunder followed in 1994 and had a great run of success that included sending several players on to the U.S. National Team and other professional teams. After the Thunder dismantled in 2009, the Stars began play in 2010 as the NSC Minnesota Stars, a team owned and operated by the National Sports Center in Blaine. In 2011, the team changed hands, becoming a league-owned franchise, winning the 2011 NASL crown in the first season of the re-launched league. On January 9, 2013, the NSC Minnesota Stars unveiled a new crest and announced a change in name, as the team became known as Minnesota United FC.