Ahead of the new season, Adrian Heath claimed that Minnesota United are the ‘Newcastle of MLS’.

To Newcastle fans of a certain age, Adrian Heath was a very annoying small (5ft 6) striker who played for the likes of Stoke, Everton and Manchester City.

These days however he is making his living in the States and after Orlando City let him go, he was chosen to be in charge of Minnesota United for their first ever MLS season, as they try to establish themselves in the top level of US football.

At his first press conference ahead of playing Steven Taylor’s old team Portland Timbers in their opening match, Adrian Heath had this to say about his new club:

“Minnesota are the Newcastle of the MLS.

“They (Newcastle and Minnesota) are some of those places that are out of the way.

“Not exactly trendy compared to everywhere else.

“Got those harsh-weathered conditions at certain times.

“The other thing that stuck out is that people from Minnesota are really proud of it, a bit like the north east of England.

“If we can be remotely as important to the people of Minnesota as Newcastle United is to theirs, we will be a great addition to MLS.

“I think we’ve put together a completely different type of roster than the one down in Orlando, we didn’t have the money to spend £5.6m a year on Kaka’s wages. 

“I just want us to be competitive and we know some people’s opinion of us.

“They think we will be the worst team in MLS history. Well guess what? I don’t think so.

“We have got to represent Minnesota the best we can every single time we put that shirt on – that is going to be the mantra from March until the very last game of the season.”

Minnesota United have now got their first two fixtures out of the way…

Portland Timbers 5 Minnesota United 1

Minnesota United 1 Atlanta United 6

Newcastle United have found their perfect club to be twinned with.

Thanks Adrian!