“Wonderwall” isn’t just the victory song for Minnesota United; it is also the name of MNUFC’s famous Supporters’ Section — the most spirited part of the gameday experience at Allianz Field. This year, members of the Wonderwall have ventured from their usual space within Allianz Field to support other teams within the MNUFC umbrella, so we sat down with some of them after an MNUFC2 match to learn more about their decision to show up in such a big way for the Loons.
Daniel Ditmanson, member of the Wonderwall board and Drum Major for the Thunderwall, takes any opportunity he has to show his support for the club.
“We come out here because we support all of Minnesota United,” said Ditmanson. “A lot of people don’t know how many teams actually exist within the Minnesota umbrella. We have Academy teams, the Power Soccer team and MNUFC2, and any chance we get as Wonderwall members, as the Thunderwall with all the drums, anyway that we can have our wider community understand that they are supported both on and off the field, is a win for us. That is super important to me, super important for many of us.”
On top of every team feeling the love from the Wonderwall, there’s a “bigger picture” element at play as well. Matt Freechack, member of the Dark Clouds, Red Loons, Six Point Brigade and Merch Day Coordinator for the Thunderwall, sees the importance of showing up for every level of the player pathway.
“I think that it shows that we can support the kids that are coming through the system,” said Freechack. “I think that if we show that they are getting that support from the ground up,that helps them want to stay with the program, move up through the levels, and play for the first team eventually.”
This isn’t all work, no play. The effort it takes to show up for multiple teams, often playing multiple games in different locations around the Metro can be daunting, to be sure. But it’s also a lot of fun, as pointed out by the gents.
“Part of the fun in coming here [National Sports Center Stadium] versus Allianz Field is it’s so much smaller, and you know the players on the field can hear you and hear what we’re saying,” said Jens Selin, member of True North Elite, Red Loons and Matchday Co-Chair for the Dark Clouds. “It makes you feel like you have an effect on the game, on the outcome of the game.”
Upon meeting them, it’s immediately clear that Daniel, Matt and Jens genuinely enjoy what they do. It is wonderful to see such a deep-rooted passion and investment from the fanbase, and it’s that sort of enthusiasm that the Thunderwall hopes can be picked up by even more fans.
“Don’t hesitate to come and say hi,” said Ditmanson. “We have an open door policy, we love new drummers – even if you want to drum for one chant, one beat, or just hold the sticks. We want to be an easy place for entry into fan culture and then from there grab a flag, or if you’re really really excited about it, we can throw you onto the stand and you can start leading chants. We’ve seen that happen already this season. Any way you want to get involved, we support that, we support supporting.”
Every so often, something new happens that reaffirms our belief that Minnesota United has the greatest supporters in the world. Their passion for growing the sport of soccer in Minnesota is truly beautiful and humbling to witness. The dedication shown by individuals like Daniel, Matt and Jens is a great example of that support, and MNUFC is so appreciative to have the support of each and every one of their loyal fans.