Although there is still a lot of snow on the ground, the 2020 MLS season is right around the corner. To help soccer fans get ready, Minnesota United hosted a housewarming event at Allianz Field on Sunday to show the public their new home and away kit for the upcoming season and to introduce new signing, Luis Amarilla.
This event was the first time the public got to see the jerseys up-close. On Wednesday of this past week, the MLS kicked off their 25th Anniversary with a jersey launch for each team during a ceremony during the New York Fashion Week.
Dubbed the “Wing Kit”, the front of the new home design features a large loon that sweeps across the front of the gray jersey. The inside neck features the famous Loons saying “Forever United” while the front is the Target logo that has been prominent on the jerseys since the team joined Major League Soccer three seasons ago. The loon from the center of the crest is also on the back of the collar near the neck
“This is a design and concept which have a deep history with our club, our crest and most importantly our fans,” said MNUFC CEO Chris Wright. “This kit was the result of the more than a year and half of collaboration between our club, Adidas and Major League Soccer. It was important to be able to tie our history with the Wing Kit to the historic 25th season celebration in Major League Soccer. We can’t wait to see Allianz Field packed with fans wearing our wing kits from past and present.” (Source: MNUFC)
The housewarming event also featured the newest member of Minnesota United, Paraguayan forward Luis Amarilla who made his first appearance after signing a 12-month loan in late January.
Speaking through a translator, Amarilla made a lot of Loons happy when he replied to a question with “I told Adrian (Heath) that I will score 25 goals this year”
Here are a few take-a-ways from Amarilla’s press conference:
When asked why Amarilla was recruited by the Loons, Technical Director, Mark Watson replied:
“We had specific off-season goals and one was to add a goal scorer and we feel Luis is that player”, adding “he fits the profile for what we are looking for. He is a goal scorer, is young, has great energy, and has an incredible work-rate off the ball. That is something that is really important to us as a group. Luis is a perfect fit for us.”
When asked why he chose Minnesota United, Amarilla replied, “Having a personal connection with Mark and Adrian is what persuaded me to come here by making me feel welcome, and I am excited to be here and to get to know everybody.”
When Watson was asked how his choice in strikers has evolved over the years and why he decided Amarilla was a good fit, he replied, “at the end of the season we analyzed what went well and what didn’t go well and the big thing was that we didn’t score enough goals. We talked about a profile, and we wanted a goal scorer and someone with a knack for goals, someone that has movement, a great work rate, and a goal-scoring record. Luis last year a great goal scoring record at Universidad Católica. The qualities he has translates into goals.”
“We felt we made huge progress as a club in our philosophy/culture that everyone needs to work and that was going to be non-negotiable for players we bring into the club and Luis’s work rate is incredible so that is why he was a perfect fit.”
When asked how he would describe himself as a player, Amarilla responded, “I am a player with ambition and always pushing myself to get better and to improve and that is what I am hoping for this year on the football side. I am a goal scorer and I also think I can add a lot and compliment my team but, I will say here, that my mission is to score goals.”
When asked what can the United fans expect from him this year, he replied, “I was able to pick up on the style of the team and Adrian has created a great style of play and its a style I feel I can insert myself into. Collectively we have the ability and talent to achieve, and to be better than we were last year.”
Asked why he picked the MLS, Luis replied that he “saw how much the league as grown and a lot of players from South America are making goals for themselves to come here to play and that goal has become part of his journey now.”
“The quality of play in Mexico and South America is really different (than the MLS) but I have always said that football is played on a field with a ball and can be enjoyed and played everywhere.”
What made you decide on Minnesota, it isn’t a traditional market that most South Americans would associate with? Luis responded, “This is my first time here (in the USA) and it gives me a lot of ambition. I talked to Adrian on the phone and said that I am going to score 25 goals. Having scored 19 last year, I feel 25 is very obtainable.”
As we were sitting in the press conference the snow kept falling so naturally the last question was about the snow and Amarilla gave a very optimistic answer, “Seeing snow has been a dream for someone coming from South American. From what I see it is very pretty and the city is very pretty as well.”
Let’s see if he still thinks it pretty when it’s still snowing in April!
Snow or no snow, the Minnesota United season is right around the corner. With Amarilla in the lineup, he definitely brings a scoring threat that was missing last year so it will be exciting to see him and the rest of the team in action shortly.