Image: Minnesota United
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I hope everyone enjoyed the final weekend without meaningful Major League Soccer for the next nine months. Damn, the season is long, isn’t it?
Before we get into the news, I just want to formally announce on here that Sota Soccer will be ON-SITE in Frisco Saturday night for Minnesota United’s season opener at FC Dallas. We’ll have coverage all-day long, including a meet-up with away supporters, details of which will be formally announced later this week.
We can’t provide exclusive coverage like this without the support of our amazing community. So, if you haven’t, please consider supporting our Patreon. In addition to the support, you’ll see plenty of bonus and early-access content you won’t find anywhere else!
Alright, let’s dive in to what happened this weekend in Loondum.
Northern Lights Kit Drop!
It’s finally here. Friday evening (or afternoon if you were paying attention to MLS’ YouTube channel), Minnesota United dropped their 2023 away kit, and it’s colorful!
The Northern Lights kit really brought out MNUFC Twitter’s “Duality of Man”, with seemingly a 50/50 split of “it sucks!” vs. “I love it!”.
One of the coolest parts about the kit, to me, is its partnership with Save the Boundary Waters. A portion of proceeds from all authentic kit sales in the month of February will go to the organization devoted to protecting the area’s sustainability.
Wanna buy one? Check it out here.
A Disappointing Preseason Finale
The Loons wrapped up their trip to Palm Springs, and their 2023 preseason, Saturday afternoon with a tilt against Vancouver Whitecaps.
While ultimately meaningless on paper, the matchup was a must-follow for MNUFC fans, as Adrian Heath previously hinted that the match’s starting XI would largely reflect who will be on the field for the season opener.
For the most part, that was likely true, save for MNUFC2 standout Jesse Molik Khan, who started in the midfield alongside Robin Lod and ahead of Wil Trapp in a 4-3-3.
The match saw two goals, both in the 2nd half and both from the Canadian club, as Julian Gressel and Ryan Gauld found the back of the net.
Adrian Heath didn’t spare many players in this one, making six substitutions. One of those subs was Hassani Dotson, who made his first semi-competitive appearance following an ACL injury suffered last April.
Apple Unveils First Match Broadcasts
While we, unfortunately, didn’t get to see any of Minnesota’s preseason matches, we were able to get a “first-look” at what Apple’s MLS Season Pass broadcasts would look like this season.
A trio of preseason matches were given a “test-run”, with Orlando-New England, Houston-Dallas, and LA Galaxy-Toronto all broadcast.
When all said and done, the debut was cemented as a rousing success among fans on social media.
In my opinion, I thought the broadcasts were extremely crisp visually, the broadcasters did an excellent job telling stories and bringing the action, and the pre-match and post-match content was unlike anything we’ve ever seen for this league before, and I mean that in the best way possible.
The only gripe I have is with the score graphic/score bug. It was extremely plain, and while “minimalist” is in right now, I’d love to see them improve those graphics ahead of Saturday’s regular season debut.