The first half of Minnesota United's inaugural Major League Soccer season is complete. The Loons picked up 18 points from the first 17 matches, with 5 wins, 3 draws, and 9 losses. We're taking time this week to look back at the first part of the season as well as preview what's ahead.
On December 30th of last year, birsch wrote a piece predicting some of the headlines we'd see over the course of the 2017 season. Some were close to the mark, others not so much. Below, I review some of the headlines from the season so far, and make some guesses of my own for the rest of the year. For the headlines that have already happened, click on them to read the story and wade through the memories.
5- Minnesota United signs Chrisitan Ramirez and Miguel Ibarra
We were excited the second the two superheroes were reunited, and that excitement level never faded.
8- Kyndra de St. Aubin hired for color commentary
The former Gopher was brought in as the first female color commentator in MLS. Needless to say, she's been a great hiring decision by the club.
10- Vadim Demidov is signed
13- Minnesota United's 1st SuperDraft
25% of United's four picks have made a regular season appearance. That's good, right?
20- Kevin Venegas holds a kangaroo
26- MNUFC trades for Kevin Molino, GK Patrick McLain from Orlando City
It was the biggest deal in MLS history, and Molino has been a consistent starter.
9- Minnesota United begins the Portland Timbers' preseason tournament
Remember that Starikov guy? He's with the Cosmos now.
15- Bobby Shuttleworth is acquired in a trade from New England Revolution
Sure, Femi showed potential, but Bobby's just been so good!
17- The kits are revealed
Next year, Adidas. Next year.
21- Minnesota United signs Jérôme Thiesson
I'm lovin' it.
2- My29 and 1500 ESPN are announced as broadcast partners
This has worked really well, and is much better than most clubs' options.
3- Portland beats Minnesota 5-1 in United's first match
But hey, Christian Ramirez scored off the bench.
10- The home opener will be really cold, but the Loons will win
12- It was really cold, and the Loons broke our hearts
The embarassment kept me warm, though.
18- Inchy adds NASL players to the squad, United draws 2-2 at Colorado
The start of something new.
25- New England thumps Minnesota 5-2
Maybe Grant Wahl was right...
31- United trades for Sam Cronin, Marc Burch
Cue the turnaround!
1- Minnesota United 4-2 Real Salt Lake
I SAID MAYBE!!
22- Demidov set to depart, possibly to Norway
Everybody fails miserably sometimes.
25- MLS Players' Union releases salaries
Brent Kallman and Demidov should swap.
7- Abu Danladi scores as Minnesota shuts out SKC
Don't worry, SKC got their fair share of goals later.
10- Star Tribune: Johan Venegas told to stay away from team
Turns out there were some contract problems, too. Nothing really came out of this though.
23- United interested in Sam Nicholson
If Minnesota is actually going to sign this Scottish winger, they're taking their sweet time.
27- Minnesota tames the Lions, beats Orlando 1-0
Another impressive home win for the Loons.
June (so far)
14- Liga MX side Atlas to play friendly against MNUFC
This match will be on July 15th. I'm excited.
14- United flunks out of the US Open Cup
It's fair to say Sporting had their revenge.
21- Minnesota beats Portland 3-2 at home
This was extremely impressive, and fun to watch.
Those are all the stories we've seen so far this season. The question arises, now, what will we see in the second half? Below, I take a guess at one headline we'll see each month until the year's end.
July: Minnesota United signs promising attacker, defensive depth
I mean, we really need both.
August: United loses key player to injury
It happens to every Minnesotan team, don't take it personally.
September: Loons pushing for final playoff spot
October: Minnesota falls out of playoffs with final day defeat to SKC
We'll really hate the BBQs now.
November: Somebody important rides off into the sunset
With a Minnesota winter on the way, I can't blame them.
December: Attention shifts to LAFC as Minnesota enters sophomore campaign
We'll all be thinking "we weren't that bad when we were that age". Actually, it'll probably be more like "why can't we have nice things like Los Angeles?".
Have a favorite story that has already happened? What do you think the rest of the season will look like? Let us know in the comments!