Connect with us

Minnesota United FC

Hundreds turn out in snowstorm for Minnesota United 2019 away kit reveal

Feb. 10, 2019: Minnesota United players model the club's 2019 away kit at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn. (Daniel Mick Photography/Pro Soccer USA)

Bloomington, Minn. — Minnesota United released its 2019 away kit in front of a crowd of fans that filled the Mall of America’s rotunda Sunday afternoon. At one point, just prior to the event, a chant of “M-N-U-F-C” echoed through the concourses of the 4.87 million square-foot retail facility.

A winter storm was in the process of depositing several inches of snow over the Twin Cities. It made roads slippery enough to cause a 40-car pile-up on Interstate 94 in neighboring Wisconsin. Simultaneously, at nearby Boom Island Park in Minneapolis, three-term Senator Amy Klobuchar was announcing her 2020 presidential candidacy. 

In spite of both the weather and a competing public event of national significance, several hundred Loons supporters made the trip out to the MOA to get a first look at the team’s new away uniforms and collect autographs from players. And while the afternoon delivered on both those aims, those fans also found themselves on hand to meet MNUFC’s newest member, goalkeeper Vito Mannone.

Rewarding its most-faithful followers, the long-expected loan agreement bringing Mannone to MLS from English Chapionship-side Reading FC was confirmed. And the man likely to be the Loons’ new No. 1 was introduced to Minnesota.

Handed the leash to Target Corporation-mascot Bullseye as he took the stage, Mannone later confirmed it was the first time he walked a Miniature Bull Terrier while in uniform.

“It’s a little bill chilly. Not that England is not,” Mannone said of the day’s weather. “It’s not as bad as I thought. I expected worse, but you enjoy it anyway — the first part of this adventure.”

That backdrop provided by mother nature was a fitting one, with MNUFC color-commentator Kyndra de St. Aubin introducing the team’s new threads as its Drift Jersey — an homage to the snowy winter landscape of the Upper Midwest.

Nearly all white, an infographic tweeted by the club referenced subtle texture that “evokes the drifting and accumulation of snow”.

“I love it,” said winger Miguel Ibarra. “It’s different from the one we had last year.”

One of the longest-serving Loons, Ibarra has played in Minnesota since 2012, aside from an 18-month stay at Liga MX’s Club León. Asked his favorite jersey among all those he has worn in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, Ibarra went old school.

“For me, personally, I think it was the Minnesota Stars [jersey] when our numbers [contained] pictures of the fans,” he said, referencing the NASL team that would eventually be rebranded as Minnesota United FC. “Also, the first MLS jersey, just because of what it represents.”

The team also offered its own nod to the past with its 2019 warm-up jacket.

Featuring a Loon’s wing on its back, the jacket pays homage to the popular design of the club’s NASL-era home uniforms. And while reaction to the Loons’ new threads on social media was mixed, the event successfully added to the sense of excitement about the coming season.

For two years, Loons fans watched one of the worst defensive displays in MLS history. And now, defensive reinforcements such as Osvaldo Alonso, Ike Opara, Romain Métanire and Mannone have arrived. For two years, Minnesota United has been telling its fans how amazing its new home, Allianz Field, will be. Come April, those fans will get to see it for themselves.

“I think we’re ready to compete, go to the playoffs and hopefully lift up the trophy,” Ibarra said. “[My new teammates], they’re leaders. They’re going to help us a lot. We addressed the positions we needed, and it think it shows. I’m very excited to get started.”




Minnesota United Schedule

Get Minnesota United Tickets


Minnesota United Gear




More in Minnesota United FC