Any chance I get to work a Prince song into a headline, I’m going to take it.
Minnesota will be welcomed into Major League Soccer later today. This is not exactly a surprise, it’s actually been a long time coming, but it will finally become official that they will be joining Atlanta as new teams for 2017.
The Twin Cities would be a great location for a brand new team, but the work done by the ownership and front office of Minnesota United alongside the support from groups like the Dark Clouds and FiftyFive.One (and it’s predecessors Northern Pitch and Inside Minnesota Soccer) will make this a very successful MLS club.
We don’t know what specifics will be covered at tonight’s announcement in the Twin Cities. One that has to be announced is the name. There has been quite a bit of controversy over this, sparked by a throwaway line about Atlanta and the league not thrilled about two United’s coming into the league together. That combined with a statement about Arthur Blank often getting his way has painted Atlanta United as the heels in this situation.
Personally, I hope the team name is announced tonight at Minnesota United. While that sounded unlikely very recently, there is a growing optimism among Minnesota fans that they will get to keep their name. If MLS can handle two City’s coming into the league together, it will be okay.
I doubt we’ll hear much about the next steps when it comes to building the expansion teams, that might be announced next week. It would be likely that Minnesota would have the opportunity to sign some of their NASL players to MLS contracts starting immediately, with forward Christian Ramirez being the top priority. Other things that relate to Atlanta United including the possibility of an expansion draft, who will get the top pick in the SuperDraft, etc. will likely be announced after tonight’s celebration.
Enjoy the night Minnesota. All apologies to The Replacements, Soul Asylum, and Hüsker Dü and other great artists from your state in advance, but I’ll be listening to my favorite Prince songs in your honor.
Minnesota politics get in the way of the stadium, what’s next? (FiftyFive.One)
A look at the history that has led Minnesota to today (Twin Cities Pioneer Press)
So we know what’s going on in Minnesota, what about other expansion candidates? (Sports Illustrated)
Alejandro Bedoya adjusting to MLS quickly (Philly.com)
The Red Bulls believe in the depth of their squad (Once a Metro)
What’s next for Jill Ellis and the U.S. Women’s National Team program? (Stars and Stripes FC)
Currently, Christian Pulisic has no plans to leave Borussia Dortmund (ESPN)
Aston Villa considering a move for DeAndre Yedlin? (Telegraph)
Matt Miazga could be headed on loan to Sunderland (Guardian)
AP on Benteke: "He'll have his medical today but personal terms have to be done. We've agreed everything with Liverpool."— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) August 19, 2016
Friday night football is not a hit for away fans in the Premier League (Guardian)
Falcons win their second preseason game 24-13 over Cleveland (The Falcoholic)
With Dansby Swanson now in the majors, how is the rest of the Braves’ minor league system looking? (Talking Chop)
Georgia quarterback recruit Jake Fromm moves closer to a Georgia high school record (Dawg Sports)