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From MISL to MLS: A Look At a Soccer Family

Tommy Thompson comes from a soccer playing family... That has some strong ties to Minnesota

MLS: Montreal Impact at San Jose Earthquakes Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

The Thompson family has been a fixture in professional soccer in the United States for years. Tommy Thompson is coming to Minnesota this weekend with the San Jose Earthquakes, and he brings some connection to the state with him.

No. He’s not the former Governor of Wisconsin and Secretary of Health and Human Services, Tommy Thompson. He is young, homegrown player Tommy Thompson. (Apparently, there is a comedian by the name of Tommy Thompson as well...Probably not the same guy.)

Tommy was born and raised in sunny California. Tommy had a wonderful high school career in the Sacramento area before enrolling early at Indiana University early to play with his older brother. Tommy played one season at IU, but it was a pretty memorable one. Leading the team with five goals and three assists, Tommy received a whole host of accolades. He left to become the first Homegrown signing for the Quakes.

This past offseason, Tommy’s contract was up and I had heard rumblings that maybe he was going to move on from Silicon Valley. (Okay, maybe I was the one spreading the rumors...) Alas, he re-signed in San Jose. I held out hope that maybe he would move on, and he could come to Minnesota. After all, it’s in the family.

Tommy’s father is Gregg Thompson. Older fans in Minnesota may recognize the name. (Or they should, at least.) Gregg Thompson was a high school sports legend in Minnesota. After moving to Stillwater his freshman year, Elder Thompson went on to star in soccer, football, and track.

Gregg would receive offers to play football at several schools, but (setting a precedent followed by his sons), he chose to play soccer at Indiana University. Thompson would lead the Hoosiers to their first title in 1982 scoring the winning goal in the EIGHTH (!) overtime. Thompson would play in the (then failing) NASL for Tampa, before cementing his legacy in Minnesota Soccer Lore. Thompson played 4 seasons with the Strikers of Major Indoor Soccer League fame making over 100 appearances for the team.

Fast forward to 2017. Tommy’s older brother had just finished his own stellar career for the Hoosiers and ready to turn pro. Tanner Thompson would have to wait until the fourth round to hear his name called, but it was the new team in the league. MNUFC drafted Thompson, and we thought at E Pluribus Loonum that he could go on to be a Minnesota sports icon like his dad. Unfortunately, Tanner was released by the Loons, but Tanner has since landed with Indy Eleven in the NASL, and hasn’t wasted much time making a name for himself.

So, Tommy Thompson will be coming to TCF Bank Stadium as a member of the opposition, but forgive me if I treat him like an honorary Minnesotan. He will be wearing the other colors, but I will find myself rooting for him, if only because his dad was an icon in our state.

Do you have any memories of Gregg Thompson? Share them below!