On and off the field, Minnesota is slowly coming into its own. The team has strung together a couple wins in the past few games to get closer to mid-table, and now the supporter groups are trying to grow and distinguish themselves.
But a recent article in the local Minnesota City Pages would leave you to believe there is turmoil among the supporter groups. According to the piece, one of the newer groups is distancing themselves from the others because “the team’s relationship with the established supporters groups is a bit too cozy, blurring the line between impassioned purists and PR shills.”
Now to understand the nuance here, it’s important to know the multiple sides. Minnesota United has two main supporter groups – Dark Clouds and True North Elite – and one smaller faction – Mill City Ultras.
Dark Clouds is the largest and oldest supporter group for the club, dating back to when they were the Minnesota Thunder playing at Saint Paul Central High School. And as you can expect from a group more than 13 years old, they have a lot of linkages to the first team and the front office. But that’s nothing to raise an eyebrow about.
True North Elite is similar. While not as old, they too are a staple at the Minnesota United games and do some great work. Check out the video below:
Then in comes Mill City Ultras. They are the newest group to the scene and the central figure in the article mentioned above. The reporter, who has gained a bit of a reputation for hyperbole in his writings, would like you to believe the Mill City Ultras are a tiny band of fans who are anti-establishment in the support group world. He claims they have serious problems with the two older groups.
But as we’ve learned, the article is positioned in a way that misleads the reader. Following its release, Mill City Ultras came out with a brief statement on Facebook that sheds light on the situation.
So before judging any one of the Minnesota United fan groups, we urge you to read through their comments and content. From our vantage point, all three groups are trying to do what’s best for the growth of the sport in Minnesota.