For the past two seasons, the Minnesota Stars have been in danger of extinction. The soccer team was owned by the North American Soccer League and essentially subsidized by the league's other franchise owners. Despite that uncertainty, and one of the smallest payrolls in the league, the Stars thrived on the field. Under coach Manny Lagos, they won the NASL championship in 2011 and lost in the finals the following season. The franchise's fate changed overnight in November, when it was announced that former UnitedHealth Group CEO Bill McGuire was purchasing the team. Since then the squad has been re-branded Minnesota United FC, and announced that it will play its first five home games of the season at the Metrodome. The team has also shelled out money to sign the past two league MVPs — forwards Etienne Barbara and Pablo Campos — to lead what should be an entertaining, attack-minded squad.
Sat., April 6, 7 p.m., 2013