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Back by the rail tracks - in the press box for Dakota Fusion v Med City

A year ago, I was working in the press box, tonight I was a guest as I took a punt on the shelter of the press box in preference for the open seating and was allowed to stay.
That said, none of what follows reflects any bias towards Fusion accept that of someone genuinely happy to see a life footy match after a year.
There are FC Fargo ties to the NPSL North everywhere, including the Sioux Falls Thunder club managed by Amadu Myers
Tonight I returned to the scene of many glories, the (American) football stadium at Moorhead "Senior" High (as it officially says on its doors) for Dakota Fusion vs Med City (both FC)
Let's get the ugly things out of the way first: It was 40 degrees at best and pouring with rain so the 25 hardy souls I head counted in the exposed metal seats of the bleachers at Jim Gotta Stadium was a good turn out, especially given the fact that the Fusion are still developing an identity as a team, and visibility as a club.
The field is artificial turf, wi…
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Structure vs separation

As FC Fargo, we set ourselves up as a partner to all the local youth soccer clubs, rather than just a senior team for one. When Dakota Fusion were founded a year later, they took the more direct route of affiliation with Tri-City Storm, including even their color scheme. Nonetheless, Fusion and FCF are/were geographically distant from anything like a pipeline for a league like NPSL where amateur status doesn't just mean "not yet in college" (see Fargo Force for a model of the latter).
The clubs in the Twin Cities metro, on the other hand, have all partnered up with teams from the local amateur MASL structure. Two are direct relatives (Stegmans/Mpls City and VSLT squared) and the TwinStars have joined them in affiliating to Fire SC.
City have also consciously promoted the ideal of local players on their locally owned club, whereas the Fusion are thus far a melting pot of varied roots.
I have no info on Med City or Sioux Falls.
It will be interesting to see if Fargo's…

Echoes of a foregone era

Update: As of April 10th, I will not be updating this post. Before the NPSL season starts up here on May 13th, I will post a fresh list of Red River Green n Gold who are playing elsewhere this season, along with any local school alums I can otherwise identify.
-------I'm not a Dakota Fusion fan. That might take me a while. However, as it says in the title of this blog , I've been supporting North of Normal soccer since 2014 and there is a remarkable amount of continuity in the form of FC Fargo alumni on the announced Fusion roster and the NPSL in particular.My fellow Manchester Red, Archie Suah from Liberia and Philly is with the Midwest Division's Milwaukee Torrent.Louis Grant, who played non-varsity soccer at Minnesota State Moorhead and tried out for us, was the Fusion's first name.I count seven former Mean Green: both our starting (Steve Harris) and backup goalies (Habib Beljulji), his other bros (Emra and Sunaj), Miah Wills, Fiaz Musa, George Gauld.Not a bad count…

Supporting sober

In the course of my life, I've had the pleasure of watching European Champions League, youth tourneys and everything else in between in multiple countries.The US is the only country where I've felt like in order to be acceptable supporter, I have to have drained a few pints of beer or shots of whisky beforehand.The major supporters groups all meet at pubs/bars before they march to the game.Supporting sober is just not advertised as an option.Don't get me wrong, I would love to be draining a bottle of Junkyard beer or shot of Proof whisky but I literally cannot. I could even frame this as an accessibility problem. You see, I can't drink because I take two different medications whose mixture with alcohol would probably hospitalise me. For related reasons, it might be unsafe for me to even participate in the march. I can't be alone. There are legions of disabled footy fans.Am I wrong? Do you have suggestions? Feel free to comment.Thanks,Tim

New Outlooks

In the past few days, the erstwhile owner of FC Fargo, Tim Singleton, has been hired as General Manager of Minnesota TwinStars. I wish him all the luck in the world. Like everyone in the fourth division, he's gonna need it, although it's not clear if he has been hired as GM of the entire club - which has an NPSL side, a women's team and a very successful academy side - or just the NPSL side. At the same time, but insisting that they are unaffiliated with management, the TwinStars has a supporters group - Third Star MN -whose Twitter feed nonetheless shows the spirit of 'Singles'. Elsewhere, our former whipping boys at FC Minneapolis have the unprecedented decision to become a "professional non-league club", playing a schedule of friendlies in perpetuity. What makes this unprecedented is that teams usually play friendlies when their league is on a hiatus or holiday. The only other sports structure I can think of with intentionally long term independent &q…

The battle for the North

Out of the provisional "Central conference", the National Premier Soccer League have created an official "North conference.
For a conference wide update, check out NPSL Northerner or NPSL themselves
Of most import to me, Dakota Fusion are one of the newcomers.
Here's their press release:
BREAKING NEWS FOR NORTH DAKOTASOCCERWORLD No need to shout, DF. Dakota Fusion Becomes Full Member of the NPSL. Dakota Fusion FC is excited to announce that it will join the NPSL beginning in the summer of 2017. Seems fair so far. DFFC is the first locally owned semi-professional soccer club in Fargo, ND. I'm not gonna let this slide. It is a snide and ultimately empty "first" because FC Fargo were the first competitive outdoor amateur team in Fargo-Moorhead. Semi-Pro isn't actually a thing in the US system. You are either professional (MLS, USL, NASL - at time of writing) or amateur (everything else) Launched by Amanda and SajidGhauri in February 2016, DFFC went…

Another day, another league

Out of the American Premier League comes the American Champions League. Founders of the former have basically recreated the original APL model with its multitude of teams almost exclusively in the Twin Cities. I called the original APL a "Twin Cities metro rec league". I'm yet to see any evidence that the zombies of FC Minneapolis and Granite City are creating anything more worthy of attention. The ACL model sees teams competing at state (or more accurately metro) level against one another for what amount to divisional titles. The divisional champions will then eventually face off, apparently, in a "Champions League" format. This next season there is only the one division, in that one metro/CSA. (Depends on whether you consider St Cloud a different metro) It doesn't even include Duluth, let alone Fargo-Moorhead so I am curious but it is irrelevant. If they convince people to expand into North Dakota there is the obvious problem that Fargo is out on a…