When you say the word ‘Minnesota’ it causes the majority of folks to think of several different things. The first, especially if you’re a sports fan, is probably going to be the Vikings. They may not be the most successful of NFL teams but they certainly have an incredibly loyal fanbase, which is the kind of thing that runs through the blood of the state. Also, you know, the weather isn’t particularly great – but we assume most of the folks over there are used to that anyway.
As it turns out Minnesota is a pretty great place not only to live and visit, but also to build a brand new franchise. In recent years Minnesota United have come into the conversation in Major League Soccer, and as you can see by this YouTube clip, the facilities that they’ve put into place are second to none.
They’re incredibly serious about this journey that they’re on as an MLS franchise, and they aren’t just here to make up the numbers. They want to slowly work their way up to the top, but the important word there is ‘slowly’. We all know that nothing in this life comes easy, but Minnesota takes that to the extreme.
If you talk to or hear any of the higher-ups at United speaking about their future, everyone is incredibly positive about where they want to be – which is exactly the kind of drive you want from a club. However, they aren’t unrealistic, either. They recognise that starting off in the MLS can be pretty hard, and that they need to build a real base for themselves before getting too excited.
Just look at one of their latest outings: as reported by MLS Soccer, they lost 4-3 to Toronto FC in the kind of game that you’d expect them to get something from based on the balance of play. Despite the disappointment of not doing so, they’ve been able to pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and look ahead to what’s next. Not every team can do that, and not every team can yank themselves out of a funk so quickly.
It’s a testament to the spirit of Minnesota as a whole, and we aren’t just making that kind of statement for the sake of it. We always get told that one of the greatest things about American sports is the heart and determination displayed by the franchises littered throughout the major sports, and to be honest, it doesn’t always need to be the most positive of circumstances in which teams are able to thrive.
One for all
Sometimes, they can have their backs against the wall. Sometimes, they can be coming off the back of a bad result. It really doesn’t matter, and that’s especially true of the MLS.
Because the MLS itself has been the underdog on so many different occasions in the past. Other leagues don’t take it that seriously, and yet they’re continuing to build at the kind of rate that their rivals find unimaginable. Be different. Be better, and be bigger.