Our thanks to exiled Newcastle fan Alan Oliver, now based in Minneapolis, who got in touch following our recent coverage of Minnesota United (read below).
Alan is a member of ‘Toon Army Minneapolis’ which is made up of locals and ex-pats.
‘Attached is a photo from Toon Army Minnesota at Brits Pub in Minneapolis.
As Adrian Heath mentioned, some similarities between Newcastle and Minnesota Uniteds.
We meet on televised match days, which is not as often in the Championship as the Premier League, though that is (hopefully!) about to change.
Keith Morioka formed the group, second from the left on the photo. We were the only two Newcastle fans amongst numerous Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal supporters.
The Local is on the same street, mostly Manchester United fans and a few others.
A little bit like “Have you ever seen a Mackem in Milan” – Same goes for Minneapolis.
In recent seasons some of us went to Washington, Ohio, Kansas City and Milwaukee to follow the lads.
Most of our group have never been to St James Park, though with Rafa this will change when we are promoted.’
At his first press conference in early March, 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 are still bottom (11th of 11) in the Western Conference but got a morale boosting 2-2 away draw last Saturday at Colorado Rapids, leaving them with one point from nine so far.
Results so far:
Portland Timbers 5 Minnesota United 1
Minnesota United 1 Atlanta United 6
Colorado Rapids 2 Minnesota United 2
(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, including any Toon fans around the World who want to tell us what it is like following NUFC from around the globe and to reach out to other Newcastle fans living in their locality. Send to [email protected])