Local supporter-owned soccer club Minneapolis City SC is supporting one of their own with a touching awareness campaign.
“We wanted to support Kristian and give him all those [Minneapolis] City vibes and it seems to have been working - he’s kicking cancer’s ass,” says Minneapolis City Business Director Sarah Schreier.
Kristian Evans is a City volunteer who started chemotherapy back in February.
Life can challenge me.— Kristian Evans (@KEvanss11) February 13, 2017
Life can change me.
Life won't beat me.
Three rounds in the ring with cancer begins today. Tickets still available.
Now, Evans is about to finish his treatment. To celebrate, Schreier says she wanted to find a way to get the whole Minneapolis City family to show public support for Evans as he crossed the finish line.
“Knowing that the Undefeated shirt was the best selling piece of merch we’ve ever had and because of the message it represents, we wanted to rally the troops and show our support today on his last day of chemo,” says Schreier.
An email blast went out to anyone that had purchased one of the wildly popular “Undefeated” shirts earlier this year. The shirts are a bit of an inside joke, created after the club was barred from competing in the US Open Cup because of a technicality. Instead of lamenting their bad luck, City did exactly what you’d expect a plucky local club to do: make shirts that celebrated their undefeated record in a competition they weren’t allowed to compete in. It was brilliant, and the shirts sold like hot cakes. I would know, I bought one the day they went on sale.
Plenty of people stepped up and posted pictures and encouraging words on social media today. Here are a few favorites.
Minneapolis City founder and board member Dan Hoedeman was one of the first to post a picture on Twitter this morning.
Here's to staying #undefeated on your last day of chemo Kristian! #beatcancer #mplscity pic.twitter.com/OMwaJT7rb5— Dan Hoedeman (@hoedeman) April 7, 2017
Some wore it well.
Seeing the @mplscitysc fuckin' RALLY.— little miss subtweet (@andkittens) April 7, 2017
We are all thinking about you @KEvanss11! Kick ass!#family #beatcancer #rally pic.twitter.com/gE3Xwwk8Yb
Undefeated, because #fuckcancer. Also @kevanss11 - check https://t.co/HLLAFnfj2n - a fantastic resource post punc… https://t.co/zP3lSmwQqj pic.twitter.com/jEZRaFBJJ2— Dan Higgs Matzner (@DHiggsMatzner13) April 7, 2017
Others forgot to wear it and resorted to (pro level) Photoshop instead.
@mplscitysc In solidarity with all those who are truly undefeated among us. #kristian #mplscity #coyc #supporterowned pic.twitter.com/tFTdzKvo07— Taqee (@Taqee) April 6, 2017
E Pluribus Loonum’s own Tyler Birschbach even got in on the action.
Keep kicking cancer's ass, @KEvanss11! Here's to being #Undefeated on your last day of chemo! @mplscitysc pic.twitter.com/6ZVlHcuNPK— tyler birschbach (@tylerbirsch) April 7, 2017
Some were already enjoying cold beverages and made the rest of us jealous.
From our friend Josh in Spring Valley, WI. @KEvanss11 #beatcancer#undfeatedagainstcancer#rally pic.twitter.com/0TGP4c6oo4— Minneapolis City SC (@mplscitysc) April 7, 2017
City’s players were quick to provide encouraging words, like goalkeeper Matt Elder.
@KEvanss11 good luck today. Keep fighting. @mplscitysc is behind you— Matt Elder (@m14elder) April 7, 2017
The campaign is a touching reminder of how small the soccer-loving world is and how quickly we are to pull together for each other in a time of need.
Minneapolis City is a relatively new club that largely formed to fill the community-level void left by Minnesota United when they were promoted to MLS. One of the main reasons people get involved with lower-tier soccer clubs is to be closer to the players and the organization. This is a fantastic example of how that devotion and support does not go unnoticed.
Hats off to Sarah and everyone else at Minneapolis City for making this excellent idea come to life. Most of all, let’s hear it for Kristian and being done with chemo! We’ll see you in the stands this summer, brother.