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MNUFC Celebrates Black Excellence on Saturday Night


Minnesota United is set to celebrate and recognize Black Excellence on Saturday night when the club hosts Houston Dynamo FC in an MLS regular-season match. Throughout the game, fans in attendance at Allianz Field will notice several in-game elements that will celebrate Black excellence within the Twin Cities and the greater soccer communities.

Different matchday experiences to celebrate Black excellence include: During pregame, a string ensemble performance will take place in the Stadium Club and a jazz quartet performance in the Field Club. The National Anthem and ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’ will be performed by members from Walker West Music Academy of Saint Paul, along with a halftime performance. Participating in the coin toss ceremony is Tamba Johnson, a former Minnesota Thunder and UW Madison player who has spent over two decades working in youth soccer at Minneapolis United and is their current Coaching Director. Johnson, for the past 10 years, has served as the head coach for The Blake School’s boys’ varsity soccer team.

On the day of the game, Minnesota United will be highlighting current Black players and honoring a list of Black historical Minnesota soccer figures, including: Melvin Tarley – a Liberian international who made 60+ appearances for the Minnesota Thunder and a leading scorer of the 2005 U.S. Open Cup with six goals for the Thunder; Tony Sanneh – a USMNT veteran who made 43 appearances for the Stars & Stripes, and is a fixture within the Minnesota soccer community and beyond through his namesake foundation; Patrick Ntsoelengoe – South African midfielder who made 155 appearances and scored 50 goals for the Minnesota Kicks. Overall, he played for 11 seasons in the NASL and racked up 94 goals; and Briana Scurry – a legendary USWNT goalkeeper who made 173 game appearances for the United States, winning the 1999 Women’s World Cup and the Gold Medal at the 1996 and 2004 Olympics.

Before the game and at half time, MNUFC will honor and celebrate community members continually making an impact:

    • L’Etoile du Nord – Odell Wilson of North Minneapolis, a community peace builder for Nonviolent Peaceforce
    • Eye of the Loon – Marine Corps Reserves Staff Sergeant Tyree Stevens, also the local Director for the Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots Program
    • Ball Delivery – Maurice Hargrow, T.O.U.C.H. Outreach member
    • Scoreboard – Cindy Andrade, an active member of the BIPOC Employee Resource Group at Allina Health
    • SeatGeek Fan of the Game – George Surratt, Season Ticket Member
    • Guest Chef – Gerard Klass, Klassics Kitchen & Cocktails