Minneapolis City SC announced this afternoon that the club will be joining USL League Two for the 2022 soccer season.
“We are excited to make the step up to USL League Two, which will challenge our club to level up on and off the field. That will help us be an even better platform for local talent to elevate—and it will be super fun for our fans to see us tangle with some of the best division four clubs in the country.”
This will be overall the club’s fourth league they have participated in over the course of their lifespan. Originally playing out of the Premier League of America for their inaugural season in 2016 the Crows moved leagues and homes for 2017. That season they left Minneapolis South High School’s Les Barnard Field for Augsburg College’s (now Augsburg University) Edor Nelson Field along with leaving the PLA for the National Premier Soccer League.
“We aren’t leaving the NPSL. It’s analogous to a top Premier League team: USL is our Premier League, our main league, US Open Cup is our Champions League, the continental competition we fight to qualify for, and NPSL is like one of the cups that we strive to challenge for. We won’t have a first and a second team anymore, just one team competing on multiple fronts.”
Since then the Crows have also started Minneapolis City 2 (formerly U23), who played in the UPSL in 2021 and the Minneapolis City Futures program to drive the development of local talent. But there is also a change in store for the City 2/Futures program.
“The idea is that we will have a single senior team competing in multiple competitions, which means MC2 will be no more. It will be one Minneapolis City.”
“For UPSL, we are looking at options. We had a good experience with the league and are working with the coaching staff and thinking about how to level up the Futures program and UPSL is part of those discussions.”
USL2 will be a new experience for the side, especially in the ultra-competitive Heartland Division. The past few years the Heartland Division has had Kaw Valley, Thunder Bay, Green Bay, Winnipeg, St. Louis, Wichita, Chicago, and the Des Moines Menace (2021 Playoff Champions, Three time defending Regular Season Champions, and 6 of the last 7 division titles) in the division. There are rumblings that it could expand even more, including in Minnesota outside of the Crows. Minneapolis City stated.
“We hear from the league that there is going to be a really robust Heartland Division.”
Which it always is. However in 2021 the Thunder Bay Chill and FC Manitoba (formerly WSA Winnipeg) did not play, as for coming back this year.
“Last season, it was COVID related (cross-border travel being a no-no). We do not know what the exact status of those two is, so don’t quote us on it, but I imagine the COVID concerns are being worked through to ensure it all works for teams in the league. For us, Thunder Bay would be a great, pretty close opponent. Great fishing up there.”
For more about Minneapolis City, USL2, the NPSL, and all of local soccer you can check out Ashle and Tim’s website Northern Lights Football for more info all offseason long.