This is part two of a five-part preview of the NPSL North's 2017 season.
Yesterday, our writer, Eli Hoff, went over 3 Reasons to Follow the NPSL North. But now we want to know what teams are in the NPSL North?
Dakota Fusion FC enters 2017 as the clubs second overall season and first season in NPSL North after playing in the American Premier League in 2016. Last year the Fusion finished 4-2-0 (W-L-D) in American Premier League play and called Shanley High School their home. This season the club moves to a longer schedule of 14 matches and a new home pitch in Jim Gotta Stadium at Moorhead High School in Moorhead, MN.
Duluth FC, aka the BlueGreens, also enter their second season in 2017 and just like Dakota Fusion FC, come over from the American Premier League. Duluth FC had two wins in friendly matches in 2016 and a record of 4-0-4 (W-L-D) in APL play. The club will play their home games at Public Schools Stadium, and in the stands you’ll find Duluth FC’s two supporters groups: the Twin Cities based The Blue-Green Line and the Duluth based Zenith City Supporters.
La Crosse Aris FC is one of the older teams in the NPSL North. The club was founded back in 2009 as Eau Claire Aris FC and played in Eau Claire, WI until the 2013 season. LC Aris FC has made their home at the Viterbo Sports Complex in La Crosse since the 2014 season (except for the 2015 season which they suspended operations.) Entering 2017 the team is coming off of an 0-6-0 (W-L-D) season in 2016 while playing in the NPSL Midwest Region, Central Conference.
Med City FC comes in as one of the three true expansion teams in the NPSL North as 2017 is their inaugural season. This isn’t Rochester’s first experience with an amateur team as the Rochester Thunder played two seasons of soccer at Rochester Regional Stadium in 2009 and 2010 as a member of the Premier Development League.
Minneapolis City SC, what could be the most well known club due to their quirky Twitter antics and their controversial elimination from the USOC. City enters their second season in 2016 in a new league, the NPSL, moving from the Premier League of America. The team also moves to a new home pitch, moving from Les Barnard Field at South High School to Edor Nelson Field at Augsburg College. The Crows are entering 2017 coming off a successful season in the PLA where they went 3-4-3 (W-L-D) in league play, 2-0 in friendly play, and won a USOC qualifier to have a total record of 6-4-3 in 2016. The Crows are also cheered on by their supporters group, The Citizens, at their matches.
Minnesota TwinStars FC is by far the longest running NPSL team in Minnesota. While the team has moved their home pitch around, they’ll settle at Minnetonka High School for 2017. The team is coming off a 2016 season that saw their primary squad go 3-3-0 (W-L-D) in the NPSL Central Region, while their Reserve squad pushed for a championship in the American Premier League ultimately finishing third at a record of 3-2-3 (W-L-D) . The TwinStars are backed by their new Supporters Group, The Third Star.
Sioux Falls Thunder FC is another one of the expansion clubs joining the NPSL North. The Thunder will be the first team to bring high level NPSL Soccer to South Dakota’s largest city. They’ll make their home for 2017 out of the University of Sioux Falls Sports Complex.
VSLT FC is an expansion team, but they are not brand new to soccer like Med City FC or Sioux Falls Thunder. In fact, they’ve had quite the journey to the NPSL, which was covered in an article by our own Eli Hoff that you can read here. VSLTFC’s NPSL side will make their home out of James Griffin Stadium, a place that the Minnesota Thunder used to call home, for the 2017 season.
Come back tomorrow for the third part of our 2017 NPSL North Conference Season Preview, which gives us some of the best matchups for the 2017 season.