By now, the Target in Blaine has surely had a chance to restock its supply of water bottles since 1,150 youth soccer teams descended on the National Sports Center to compete in the 2018 Schwan’s USA Cup. Representatives from 20 different countries came to compete on the facility’s fields right next to where Minnesota United’s first team practices every week.
MNUFC itself is composed of players hailing from all over the world. Midfielders Ibson and Maximiano surprised a pair of Brazilian soccer teams, signing autographs and taking pictures with the players. Midfielder Kevin Molino took time out of his work rehabbing a torn ACL to meet with a U17 boys team from his native Trinidad and took the team on a tour of the MNUFC training facilities. Midfielder Alexi Gomes popped in to visit a young Peruvian team after training on Friday of the week-long tournament. And on the home front, Alex Kapp, Mason Toye and Wyatt Omsberg all participated in autograph signing sessions for USA Cup attendees.
Goalkeeper Matt Lampson supported Kick Cancer Day at USA Cup, where the tournament partnered with the U of M’s Masonic Children’s Hospital to raise awareness of pediatric cancer. The Loons’ keeper and a survivor of pediatric cancer were the ceremonial game ball presenters for a marquee match at the tournament. Lampson also visited the Kick Cancer booth, signing autographs and taking photos with the attendees.