Local sports fans recently received the exciting news that Minnesota will once again have a professional soccer team. Starting in 2018, the Minnesota United FC will be called up from the North American Soccer League to join the MLS.
This announcement is one that brings joy to local soccer fans, as well as to the Minnesota United players. Both groups are equally excited to see how the team's promotion to the big leagues will impact soccer in Minnesota both on and off the field.
Dave Geary, the Executive Director at the Arrowhead Youth Soccer Association, has had a good relationship with MN United for over a year now and is excited to see pro soccer return to Minnesota.
“What having this team will do is give parents and kids more of a chance to watch soccer,” said Geary. “And, it will allow them to get a better understanding of the game.”
Besides drawing more attention to the sport, Geary mentioned that he also thinks that having a professional team will impact the overall quality of play for all age ranges and teams throughout the state.
“Kids get to watch baseball being played at an elite level and emulate it, but not as many kids watch soccer,” said Geary. “Being able to watch soccer at the highest level [means] kids will be able to emulate what they see, and that will raise the level of play.”
Minnesota United has already been reaching out to communities such as Duluth, and they regularly participate in after school youth events, such as the Kick It Forward Duluth soccer fair on April 26th.
MN United forward Geison Moura, who has been with the team since 2010, was recently in Duluth at an event and noticed how the game has already changed.
“It absolutely has grown a lot,” said Geison. “I feel like it is growing and growing every year.”
Since the announcement, people have started to take notice of the team, and the excitement is real.
“I think everybody noticed,” said Geison. “I have been here form the beginning, so before a player I am a fan of the club, and it’s fun to see the growth.”
Soccer fans throughout the state have a good reason to be excited about what the future holds and how they will get to watch the growth of the game both on and off the field.