The wait is finally over. Major League Soccer announced on Friday night that Minnesota will be the latest expansion franchise to enter MLS. They’ll come into the league at the beginning of the 2017 season alongside Atlanta United. They’ll play their home matches at TCF Bank Stadium on the campus of the University of Minnesota until their permanent home is completed.
It was also announced that they would be keeping their name, Minnesota United FC, despite earlier reports of MLS demanding they change it to prevent the league from having too many clubs branded United.
Minnesota have been a staple in the lower division for many years, going by many different names. They have finally found consistent ownership and success, enough for them to win an expansion slot in MLS.
NASL Commissioner, Bill Peterson, made this official statement regarding Minnesota’s departure from his league to MLS:
We would like to be the first to wish Minnesota United FC much success in its new endeavors in MLS. Dr. Bill McGuire and his staff and players have been passionate and dedicated partners during their time in the NASL, and we thank them for that. It’s also important to recognize the incredible fans who have supported Minnesota’s NASL clubs over the last six years. It has been a real joy to watch them develop such a deep love for their club.
With Minnesota joining Atlanta in 2017, many mechanics will need to be decided on. First and foremost will be how will the teams acquire talent? Rumors have been abound this year that MLS are pondering getting rid of the Expansion Draft and opting to give each team more allocation money and international player slots. Nothing is official yet, but we should hear something soon now that Minnesota is official.
Then there’s a matter of who picks first in a possible Expansion Draft and the MLS SuperDraft. That will likely be decided the same way it was two years ago when Orlando and NYCFC came into the league. Our Jason Longshore broke that process down here.
It’s all happening now that everything is officially wrapped up. We now wait and see what MLS will do about getting two brand new teams players.