As we count down to a record-breaking crowd, we're taking a look back at the historic moments that helped to shape soccer in Minnesota. From the Kicks in NASL to your hometown Minnesota United, it's time to celebrate soccer past and present at TCF Bank Stadium on Oct. 21 when MNUFC breaks an attendance record that has stood for more than 40 years, ever since a crowd of 49,572 fans came to Metropolitan Stadium to watch the Minnesota Kicks beat the San Jose Earthquakes 3-1 and win the NASL Conference Championship.
It’s nearly impossible to overstate the importance of supporters to a soccer team and even harder to overstate the importance of Minnesota United’s supporters to the Loons. With a robust supporter culture that predates the club itself, it is unmistakably the die-hard fans who have carried forward and nurtured soccer culture in Minnesota over the last several decades.
All the disparate supporters groups have recently announced that they will be coming together as one in Allianz Field as the Wonderwall, forming an overarching organization that will support the individual characters of the different groups but also ensure that they speak and work with one voice, together, in their passion for the game. And more than simply being people who love soccer, supporters groups in Minnesota have worked in the community to give back through their own charitable organizations. They are, simply, where you go to find family, camaraderie, support and maybe a little bit of crazy when you love soccer.
The Dark Clouds
The oldest supporters group of Minnesota soccer, the Dark Clouds were founded in 2004 when the Minnesota Thunder moved to James Griffin Stadium at St. Paul Central High School. True to their name, wherever the Thunder went, the Dark Clouds followed, and now they’ve followed MNUFC to MLS and into Allianz Field in 2019. The Dark Clouds are also the largest supporters group and work to support the community through their Silver Linings charitable organization.
True North Elite
More than a decade younger than the Dark Clouds, True North Elite (or TNE) have been happy to flaunt a little brashness and get loud in service of supporting the team since 2015. They might be edgy but they won’t stand for violence, racism, homophobia, xenophobia or any other kind of bigotry. They put their mission into practice through their volunteering organization, Keepers of the North.
With MNUFC moving into Allianz Field, the supporters felt the time was right to come together under one banner while maintaining the autonomy and identity of the individual groups. Together the supporters groups have created the Wonderwall, tying the name back to the supporters’ tradition of singing Oasis’ 1995 hit after Loons victories. Together, the supporters will present a formidable wall behind goal at the south end of Allianz Field and continue to drive the atmosphere and experience in the team’s new home.
For more information on Minnesota United's supporters groups, click here.