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It's Been A Tough Start For New MLS Club Minnesota United FC

Thursday 16th March 2017
With the MLS in the USA ever expanding throughout America and across the globe there is plenty of potential for a successful competition. The MLS is expanding ever more year by year and the 2017 season is no exception.

This season introduces new club Minnesota United FC into the mix of things. Minnesota are now the 22nd club introduced into America's top Soccer league. With the table split into Eastern and Western Conferences, Minnesota are placed in the Western Conference.
Being a new club or "franchise" is a tough procedure with current teams displaying star players already. The ever growing stature of the MLS is gaining more fans year after year. Due to the expansion, there is much media attention lately.

It just goes to show how much of a following in the MLS can have when a new club arrives and they are scheduled to play in a stadium that seats just over 50,000. Minnesota will be playing at the TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

The new franchise will play at home in a grey jersey with a light blue diagonal stripe pattern. They will play their away games in a white jersey with a grey shoulder design. The current manager of Minnesota United FC is Adrian Heath. As well as having a notable career in England he is no stranger to the MLS. The Englishman has managed other clubs in America.

Heath has recently managed USL side Austin Aztex before the club dissolved and moved to Orlando. Then he took charge of Orlando City, before that also dissolved by 2014 due to becoming an MLS franchise. After a bad run, he was sacked in the season and was the man chosen to manage Minnesota for the 2017 season.
Nicknamed "The Loons", the Minneapolis side will be keen to get things going in the MLS. However, it hasn't been the best of starts for the new franchise. Their first fixture was a 5-1 thrashing against Portland Timbers. This recorded the biggest loss in an opening game by a new franchise. The only positive for Minnesota was that Christian Ramirez got their first ever goal in the MLS.

Their next fixture was their first MLS game at home against Atlanta United. Things didn't go well as they were 3-0 down after just 27 minutes. A sense of belief was present just 3 minutes later as Kevin Molino finished a penalty. Things were to get worse, however, as Atlanta scored three more in the second half to thrash Minnesota 6-1.

Another record was set in the 6-1 loss to Atlanta. This was because of the coldest temperature ever recorded in an MLS fixture to date. Kickoff temperature in the TCF Bank Stadium was -7C. It was all due to Storm Stella passing through North America.
Letting in 11 goals in two games is quite embarrassing but when you're a new team in the MLS you will notice the level of quality. It will be a learning curve for the new side as they don't have any noticeable or outstanding players. Given some time, they will adapt to their surroundings and hopefully can get their first win or even their first point soon.

Despite being at the bottom of the MLS, Minnesota will not be discouraged, but optimistic. They have only played two games and there are plenty more to be played. With the MLS now underway, exciting times are ahead for an American expansion which intrigues everyone from around the globe.

Every football fan likes to keep an eye on one of the most expanding leagues in world football. It's a very interesting setup and we like to see how the MLS evolves.

Jamie Kynaston

For my sins, I'm a season ticket holder at Stoke City, I have been proud to watch them for over 20 years. I follow most of the UK leagues and the major European ones too, and I've been told that I talk way too much about football.


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