Minnesota’s professional soccer franchise has been rebranded as Minnesota United FC. Formerly known as the Minnesota Stars FC, the team has taken a new identity under the ownership of Minnesota business leader and philanthropist, Dr. Bill McGuire.
The announcement and unveiling were made today before a large and enthusiastic crowd at the Midtown Global Market in Minneapolis. North American Soccer League (NASL) commissioner Bill Peterson, Minnesota United officials and community leaders including Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, joined McGuire for the announcement.
The Minnesota United FC name is a tribute to the team’s vision and a three-decade long legacy of soccer in Minnesota. McGuire sees the team as a community asset around which many different groups – from ethnic communities to soccer organizations – across Minnesota can unite in fandom. Close coordination with these groups will occur moving forward.
The focal point of the new team logo is a strong depiction of a bird, which will adorn the team uniforms and merchandise. Variations of the new team logo and uniforms can be downloaded fromhttp://bit.ly/MNUnitedFiles.
“Soccer is a global game,” said McGuire. “We live in a diverse and world-class community that should be part of the fabric of the ‘Beautiful Game.’ Soccer is also the fastest-growing sport in the country. Minnesota United FC will ensure that Minnesotans have a successful local professional team they can easily access and support.”
Proud History, Bright Future
McGuire, the CEO of UnitedHealth Group from 1991-2006, bought the Minnesota Stars in January 2013 after a long search by the NASL for local ownership. The team had just come off a near repeat of its 2011 NASL championship. He has appointed a new team president, Nick Rogers, and retained the Minnesota Stars coaching and support staff, including head coach Manny Lagos and front office executive Djorn Buchholz.
To support being a perennial championship contender, the team has signed the previous two NASL most valuable players, Pablo Campos and Etienne Barbara. Minnesota United FC has also signed a handful of other new players to complement a strong returning core that positions the team for another title run in 2013.
“Our investment in signing new players and extending our relationships with players who have been integral to the franchise’s recent success is a clear indication that we mean business on the soccer pitch,” said McGuire. “We intend to give Minnesota United FC fans the competitive product, and the game experience, they are seeking and deserve.”
Minnesota United kicks off the 2013 season against the rival San Antonio Scorpions at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis on April 6 at 7 p.m. It is the first of five matches at the venue with the other nine home games slated for the 8,500-seat National Sports Center Stadium in Blaine, Minn. Tickets are available at www.mnunitedfc.com.