The season’s over.
It feels weird to say, because it feels like the season just started — in a way. The bitterness of last offseason, the hope that maybe we’ll see a competitive team playing a home game at TCF Stadium — it wasn’t all that long ago.
But the year was also a slog. All the terrible road performances, the home flops, the baffling administrative and managerial decisions, it’s enough to drive a person mad. Maybe it’s best that there aren’t any more games for Minnesota United.
On to this column. Since it’s the first of the offseason, I’ll walk through what it will normally be about for a moment.
It’s called Rumor Ramblings because it’s, well, my ramblings about the offseason, which will hopefully involve some rumors. It’ll come out more or less weekly, mostly set by whether or not things are actually happening.
There is a rumor to discuss for this edition, which is an extremely pleasant surprise. Far less surprising is that it’s coming from The Athletic’s Jeff Rueter:
I’m hearing that #MNUFC’s sporting staff is on a set of scouting trips. Coaches and technical staff are in Colombia, Mexico, England, and Central Europe.— Jeff Rueter (@jeffrueter) November 7, 2018
Rueter later specified that “Central Europe” more or less includes Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and Poland.
It’s great to see that the technical staff is getting out there already and taking advantage of the fact that other MLS teams still have high-stakes matches yet to come. Whether or not something comes from these trips is a big question, but at least the club is getting a jump on things.
Now, I can’t even speculate on who the staff might be looking at here — it’s simply too broad an area. But this is some very wise timing.
The next FIFA international break starts on Monday, which, means the scouts can check out more players without moving around. Or, maybe they’re just in Europe to get paid to watch some UEFA Champions League games.
It is a little odd that the club is headed to Colombia again, but then again, they’ve done pretty well identifying talent down there. If it ain’t broke...
We should expect to see United’s end-of-year roster moves coming out soon. The Loons released the info last year at the end of November, but the New England Revolution have already made theirs, so perhaps it could be earlier. If the club is as hot to trot in that regard as they are with the scouting, that could be at any moment.
Keep an eye out here for some power rankings of which players are the most likely to be around for next season.
Unrelated to offseason transfer dealings, there have been a few unprofessional tweets coming from the official Minnesota United account over the last couple days.
After we criticized their move not to give season-ticket holders access to Gold Cup tickets before anyone who gives their email address for the mailing list, the club clarified — that is to say, made public for the first time — there are tiers to pre-sale access. That’s all fine, but then the club started getting snarky with people.
Well, you know... it's not. So there's that.— Minnesota United FC (@MNUFC) November 6, 2018
I guess these are the “[fire emoji] tweets” we’ve been waiting for.
Sure.— Minnesota United FC (@MNUFC) November 6, 2018
Is this not the pinnacle of professionalism?
I can’t think of any other professional sports franchises who would snap back on social media toward fans who were confused about information that wasn’t made public.
Bruce McGuire put it pretty well:
Who is writing this garbage to fans of the team? A nameless faceless team employee taunting the fans? the team should be embarrassed by this kind of twitter feed.— Brucio McGuire (@dunord) November 6, 2018
Plenty of room for improvement in the code of conduct too, apparently. Don’t get too confused fans, or you’ll have the Loons coming after you.