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Loon Landings: 4/16/2021

Player loans, TV deal, and Technical Staff hires

March 10, 2020 - Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States - Minnesota United defender Noah Billingsley (2) steps in to grab the ball from Minnesota United forward Luis Amarilla (9) during the Loon's first team practice at Allianz Field.
March 10, 2020 - Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States - Minnesota United defender Noah Billingsley (2) steps in to grab the ball from Minnesota United forward Luis Amarilla (9) during the Loon’s first team practice at Allianz Field.
(Photo by Seth Steffenhagen/Steffenhagen Photography)

Over the last few days Minnesota United FC has had quite a bit of news come out ahead of the 2021 season opener tonight against the Seattle Sounders.

Noah Billingsley loaned to Phoenix Rising

On Tuesday afternoon the club announced that defender Noah Billingsley had been loaned to USL Championship Side Phoenix Rising for the 2021 season. The New Zealand native and International Billingsley was acquired in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft after spending his collegiate seasons at UCSB playing for the Gauchos. He spent most of the 2020 on loan with USL Championship side Las Vegas Lights and made his MNUFC debut on November 8th, 2021 against FC Dallas.

MNUFC signs broadcast partners for 2021 season

On Wednesday afternoon Minnesota United FC announced their 2021 broadcast partners. The Loons will return to Bally Sports North (formerly FOX Sports North) for the fourth consecutive season. All 29 games not broadcast on National TV will be broadcast on Bally Sports North with 19 of the broadcasts being simulcast on The CW Twin Cities.

“Heading into 2021, one of our main priorities was ensuring that as many of our fans as possible would have access to our broadcasts,” said MNUFC CEO Chris Wright. “I can’t thank Sinclair and particularly Mike Dimond and Tom Burke enough for their level of cooperation and collaboration in putting together an agreement that will allow fans to find us across platforms from cable to digital to over-the-air all across the region.”

Both Callum Williams and former Golden Gopher and Minnesota native Kyndra de St. Aubin will return as the commentry team for the 2021 season on the Sinclair Broadcast Group owned stations.

Minnesota United’s home opener against Real Salt Lake will be broadcast via Bally Sports North EXTRA on The CW Twin Cities on Saturday, April 24th.

Technical Staff Hires

Thursday morning saw Minnesota United also announce hirings to it’s technical staff for the 2021 season. Damian Roden, the Senior Director of Sports Science was announced last week. Joining him is Director of Sports Medicine Hilary Obert, Sr. Video Analyst Cameron Knowles and Assistant Athletic Trainer Kayce Godwin will all join the club starting this season. These four will join Baker Cronin (Athletic Trainer), Adam Parr (Strength and Conditioning Specialist) and Angela Bruzina (Team Dietician) who were all hired before the 2020 season.

Minnesota United FC opens the season on Friday, April 16th with an away match against Seattle Sounders at Lumen Field in Seattle, WA. Stay tuned to E Pluribus Loonum for all your 2021 MNUFC and Major League Soccer needs.