Minnesota United FC is in Colorado this weekend to take on the Rapids, and we took some time to get to know Burgundy Wave, our SB Nation counterparts covering the “Pids”.
Special thanks to abbiemood for taking the time to answer our questions!
Where did the blog name come from?
Burgundy has been our main/home kit color since 2007, and then (according to our founder and original manager, Chris White) the wave was "just the first water-related word I could think of to pair with the word 'burgundy' since I had to come up with a blog name kind of on the spot."
How did the 2016 season go for Colorado?
It was amazing. The Rapids had been terrible for awhile (really since 2012), and fans were expecting more of the same. Instead, a good chunk of our players had career years, we had the best defense in the league (just 32 goals allowed- and that was with a stupid 5-1 loss to NYCFC), went unbeaten at home in the regular season, set a team record for points (58), came in 2nd for the Supporters' Shield, and made it all the way to the Western Conference Finals. It was a fantastic season.
For our lazier readers, sum up that answer in 5 words.
Best Defense. Western Conference Finals.
Summarize your 2016 season in a gif.
Before the Western Conference loss (BWC) -
After the Western Conference loss (AWC) -
I guess that's breaking the rules, but please don't make me pick just one.
What are your expectations for 2017?
Our team has returned the same defense, so even though our 2016 Defensive Player of the Year nominee and center back Axel Sjöberg just had surgery, we have depth and a really solid foundation. We also have Tim Howard holding it down between the sticks, and he's pretty good.
Our big concern is our offense. While we had the best defense in the league last year, we had one of the worst offenses (third from the bottom in goals scored). We are really good at winning games 1-0, but many of us don't think that's going to cut it this year. We expect some regression, but still plan to make the playoffs. And once you're in the playoffs, anything can happen.
How is 2017 going so far?
It's okay. We won against New England at home and lost against the New York Red Bulls in NY. We only lost 1-0, but Tim Howard came up big several times, so it could have been way worse. It was a sloppy game with terrible passing and oh yeah, an own goal. So I think we're all still waiting to see how things shake out, and we need to see some goals getting scored. That being said, if we grab a win this weekend and start the season with six points in three games, that's not bad.
Is there a player on your team that is crazy popular that someone that isn’t a hardcore fan wouldn’t understand? Why?
I don't know if he's crazy popular, but Sam Cronin is pretty popular among ‘Pids fans. He's a D-Mid and our captain. Sam is super friendly and nice off the field, but super intense and aggressive on the field. He doesn't take shit and he stands up for his teammates. He's also a really good midfielder, and I don't think he gets enough credit in general, so I know someone who isn't a fan probably wouldn't get it.
Who from your team are we most likely to hate/dislike?
I'm pretty sure Tim Howard is gonna piss you off because he's just so good. I know Marc Burch and maybe even Sam Cronin frustrate a lot of other teams because they can be aggressive, but I can't think of anyone who is a wrecking ball.
Does your team have any ties to Minnesota? Players, coaches, etc.?
Eric Miller, Rapids right fullback, is from Woodbury, Minnesota. MNUFC acquired defender Joseph Greenspan from the Rapids right before the expansion draft. MNUFC Midfielder Collen Warner is from Denver, but didn't play for the Rapids.
Does your blog have any ties to Minnesota?
Our previous managing editor, John Rosch is a huge Minnesota soccer fan, and I'm pretty sure he's been up there for a few games.
What do you know about Minnesota United as a team?
I know that you came up as a NASL team and are having a pretty rough start to the season, with a -9 goal differential. Your defense needs some work and you had to grab a temporary back-up keeper because your #1 and (I think) #3 went down. Our Assistant Editor, Rapids Rabbi, did a season preview of Minnesota United, so this is pretty much what we know.
What do you know about Minnesota - the state?
That it's pronounced Minnesoooooota. You have a bunch of lakes. It's on the Great Lakes. And weren't Brenda and Brandon Walsh (from 90210) from St. Paul?
What, if any, Minnesotan stereotypes do you know?
I hear Minnesotans are pretty nice. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
For Loons making the trip to Colorado this weekend, what breweries, bars, restaurants, etc must MNUFC supporters check out? Any pregame/stadium festivities they need to see?
Sadly, the stadium is not in Denver, so if you want to grab something right before the game, I would head to Northfield (the Target shopping center area that's about a 5 min. drive away) and stop at Bar Louie or Torchy's Tacos. You could also start at Eighteen76, the bar at the stadium.
If you're hanging out in Denver for awhile, I would recommend a trip out to Red Rocks. There are some short trails and you can walk around the amphitheater, too. As far as breweries go, there are a ton in Denver. Great Divide and Wynkoop are pretty popular ones in LoDo, near Coor's Field, and there are also a bunch of restaurants and bars in that same area. Oh, and if you have time, it's pretty cool to go out to Golden and tour the Coors brewery (even if you don't like Coors ;)).
How many lakes does your sad excuse for a state have?
A measly 111.
What does it mean to be a Rapids fan? Is there a distinct attitude supporters of the team have? Inside jokes that you want to let others in on?
Rapids fans are passionate. We love our team, but we have also been heartbroken in the past, so we're learning to trust them again ;) As with any group of fans, we just want to see our team succeed. The team and the fans have an underdog mentality - Colorado is constantly overlooked and underestimated, and we want nothing more than to prove everyone wrong.