Are you excited for soccer and can’t wait!? Well neither can we! Thankfully there are only 10 days between now and the first preseason match for Minnesota United FC. The 2017 preseason training schedule will last six weeks and three training grounds, in addition to some familiar faces United will take on some new opponents for the first time.
United will start off the preseason training schedule in a familiar place, out of Casa Grande, AZ. Casa Grande hosted part of the Loons 2015 preseason. They’ll open up with a friendly on January 31st against the New England Revolution. New England had finished in Seventh place last season in the MLS Eastern Conference, just bumped out of the playoffs on a tiebreaker by the Philadelphia Union. The match with the Revolution will be the (while not official) first match Minnesota United will play as an MLS club and with Adrian Heath as manager. February 3rd will be their second and final friendly against the Croatian club Nogometni Klub Istra 1961. NK Istra 1961 currently sits at 8th place out of 10 in the MAXtv Prva liga, Croatia’s top league.
After the start in Arizona, the Loons take flight to Portland to participate in the 2017 Simple Invitational at Providence Park. If that sounds familiar it’s because the Loons played in the Invitational last season, albeit an unsuccessful as they dropped all three matches in 2016 and were outscored 11 goals to one. Take that with a grain of salt as that was last season's NASL side and not this year’s MLS side. The games in Portland will be played on February 9th against Vancouver Whitecaps, February 12th against Portland Timbers, and to cap it off February 15th against Real Salt Lake.
To cap off the tour the Loons head down to Orlando with a week long trip to the Sunshine State. The Loons will face off against MLS Cup runner up Toronto FC on February 22nd, and the USL club San Antonio FC on February 26th.
Highlights of all the preseason matches can be caught on MNUFC.com as well tickets purchased for the preseason tournament in Portland on TIMBERS.com. This looks to be a great preseason and a nice way to tide ourselves over and build up what is effectively a brand new club until the Regular Season starts on March 3rd again in Portland.