Eugene Rupinski, Brotherly Game) The past few expansion teams that have come into the league have enjoyed some level of success in their first season, but Minnesota United have struggled. How are the fans handling that?
Nate Siems, E Pluribus Loonum) Some better than others. There is a strong feeling of, "Should we have really expected more," but there is also a feeling that the team was held back by not wanting to spend any money. Most fans seem content that we have top-level soccer in Minneapolis/St. Paul. I just feel that many miss the success that the Loons had in the NASL and some of the old rivalries. The Loons already surpassed Grant Wahl's now infamous prediction, so that seems to have placated most of the fanbase.
tBG) How has the supporters' culture around the club evolved going from NASL to MLS?
EPL) There is certainly a larger amount of coverage around the team, and it seems like a new supporters group pops up after every home match, but I don't see much of a difference. The club has had support since Minnesota Thunder was the local team, and that support has simply continued into MLS.
tBG) Why will the Loons be successful in the years to come?
EPL) They have assembled a pretty good group of players that can be built around for the future. Sam Cronin is older, but he is a proven leader. Christian Ramirez has the ability to come alive at any moment and put the ball in the back of the net. Jerome Thiesson looks like a hidden gem at the fullback position. Kevin Molino has the technical ability to change a game, and Francisco Calvo is the youngest (well he was unless something has changed) captain in the league and is a great defender. If Abu Danladi can continue his development and the Front Office can bring in players who aren't rushed, I think that next season's product will be much better.
Injuries, suspensions, etc.: Sam Cronin has been dealing with a concussion and Christian Ramirez was dealing with a hamstring issue. No word on them yet. And Jermaine Taylor will be OUT with a concussion
With the previous injuries in mind..
Bobby Shuttleworth; Jerome Thiesson, Brent Kallman, Michael Boxall, Francisco Calvo; Ibson, Collen Warner; Ethan Finlay, Sam Nicholson, Kevin Molino; Abu Danladi