When Minnesota United’s Miguel Ibarra was called up to the U.S. men’s national team on October 6, 2014, it was a big day not just for the midfielder and not just for MNUFC, but for soccer in the United States. Ibarra’s call-up was the first for a player from a second-division league like NASL, and it represented then-Head Coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s determination to find the best soccer talent at whatever level it was thriving.
“He has tremendous skill – he has speed, he has an engine and he can take people on,” said Klinsmann at the time, citing all the elements that have let Ibarra step up in a big way in his second season in MLS this year with seven goals and eight assists. “He keeps everybody on their toes and keeps them very busy.”
Ibarra made his first appearance for the USMNT in a friendly against Honduras on October 14, 2014 and was called up four more times, ultimately appearing twice more including a start against Panama in a friendly on February 8, 2015 alongside fellow MLS players including Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore and Gyasi Zardes.
The Loons are celebrating their first two seasons in MLS soccer on October 21 with 50,000+ close friends at TCF Bank Stadium. The last home match at the University venue, Minnesota United will break a 42-year-old record for attendance as the club looks ahead to the opening of Allianz Field.