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Loons fans welcome Darwin Quintero to Minnesota

The deal isn’t official yet, but the excitement was still very real.

Matt Goldknopf

There have been rumblings for almost two weeks now about Minnesota United being on the verge of signing their first ever designated player.

Those rumblings grew louder yesterday as Loons supporters groups somehow got the flight info of Liga MX star Darwin Quintero and rallied fans on Twitter to come to the airport Wednesday night and give him a warm welcome. I couldn’t pass up the chance to be a part of Minnesota soccer history.

Getting to MLS last season was quite a milestone, but in order to take the next step, the Loons needed to add some talent on the field as well. Going into their awesome new stadium next season as the only MLS team without a DP on their roster would be unacceptable.

Which brings us to last night. I arrived at the Humphrey Terminal shortly after 8pm. When I arrived there was a crowd of around 20 fans, local reporters and team officials. The crowd would grow to between 40-50 people over the next hour. Of the fans attending, about two thirds were wearing Loons gear, there were also fans wearing Colombian National kits as well as Club America gear. Coming from arguably Liga MX’s most glamorous club and the popularity of Mexico’s top league in the United States this was no surprise. Over the next hour every returning flight attendant, spring breaker or traveler that came through the gate doors was met with the collective grown of 40 disappointed Loons fans. It was a funny thing to watch.

Matt Goldknopf

Around 9pm we finally got what we were waiting for as Darwin Quintero came the gate doors. Kids rushed him for autographs, reporters snapped pictures and I along with the supporters groups chanted “Ohh Darwin Quintero, Ohh Darwin Quintero!”. He seemed a bit taken aback by the the crowd, but smiled and gracefully signed autographs and posed for selfies. He was very friendly as he made his way to the door, posed for a few last pictures and was gone. It was truly a thrill to be at this event that I can only liken to rock stars getting off planes in movies. Hopefully he can be that rock star on the field the Loons need.

Amazing night and amazing atmosphere on a historic night in Minnesota soccer, the Scientist has arrived!