It’s the very first Club Feature of SmallWorld Soccer’s existence! This was the concept that the whole blog was created for: feature posts on specific clubs and how they’re impacting their communities with their own unique flavor. In this, our opening Club Feature, the club in the spotlight is the NPSL’s Minneapolis City SC in Minneapolis, MN.
I’ve been looking at clubs around the country that are positively impactful with their fanbase, their players, and above all, the local communities they represent. After doing a lot of searching, Minneapolis City was the first club I knew I wanted to write a feature on. They were kind enough to respond to my outreach on social media, and the following is a recap of what all I’ve learned – and fallen in love with – about the club.
Dan Hoedeman, Minneapolis City’s Managing Director and one of the club’s founders, gave me a detailed look into what the club stands for, why it exists, what it’s doing for the local community, and so much more.
This club is a way to bring people together through something positive, a shared interest and goal. We need to be even more inclusive because it’s the right thing to do.-Dan Hoedeman, Minneapolis City’s Managing Director
That’s a huge statement that indicates a true devotion to more than soccer. But how exactly does a club follow up on that, especially considering its size? Quite a lot, apparently.
We’ve done everything we can–worked with Pillsbury United Communities, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the YMCA, Como Park soccer, Minneapolis Parks & Rec, all sorts of clubs and schools and organizations to take part in, host, or put on clinics, food drives and other donations, free play, etc. We’ve specifically tried to focus on urban Minneapolis and South Minneapolis but really we want to bring everyone we can together through soccer. As a club we’ve helped players financially, helped players travel, found them housing, done whatever we can to help players who otherwise wouldn’t be able to play soccer at this level.-Dan, SmallWorld Certified Awesome Guy
I didn’t know that half of that stuff existed. Probably because I’m not from Minnesota, but I digress. That’s a lot of wonderful things that are being done for the community, all because of one NPSL club’s vision. And they’re not in it for themselves, either. Like, at all.
Nobody in the club makes any money. In fact, pretty much everyone loses money because we donate to the club, we buy stuff on our own for the club, we’re all-in on this. It’s a passion project.– Dan, still awesome
So, to sum up, they’re sacrificing time and money, they have no profits at all, they work with countless organizations in and around their city, and they have a vision for diversity, positivity, and using soccer to ameliorate society. Yeah, that sounds like a pretty awesome club to support. But let’s hear from Brian Schreier, an actual MPLS City supporter, on how he feels about the club.
Describing the atmosphere on and off the pitch is pretty well explained by the term “professionally amateur”. The club does an amazing job with social media, merch, gameday experience (including a dope playlist) and produces results on the field while being this ramshackle, DIY club.Brian Schreier, longtime supporter of the club and also awesome
He, too, reiterated how impactful the club is in the community.
The club dedicates tons of time doing camps with youth kids, open play, and community festivals. The team is comprised of guys that grew up in our neighborhoods, worked down the street from us, and have Minnesota pride just like us. I want to see their success on and off the field.Brian
More than their community flavor, though, Minneapolis City is attractive because it’s fun.
Mpls City is truly something special and always surprises me with their witty, borderline snarky personality, and coming up with fun and interesting ideas like the Merch Truck, installations by Kamp Seedorf, the hotlines in City Pages, a storefront in South Minneapolis, the list goes on.Still Brian
Dan, too, explained to me that the club has its own personality and described how it’s molded itself around its fanbase. The result is an eclectic and unique take on soccer that includes humor, local culture, and apparently Grumpy Cat.
No club cares so desperately and genuinely about serving its supporters as well as it can like Minneapolis City SC. That said, we launched with a POV and a tone of voice and we’re a bit weird and into Grumpy Cat and having fun. We attracted people who were attracted to that. So it helped that we have a group of really great people as supporters.Dan Hoedeman, even more awesome than Grumpy Cat
This, ladies and gentlemen, is soccer done right. Serving the community in tangible ways, adapting to the needs and wants of the community, and in a sense, becoming an essential part of the community.
So please get involved and support the Crows! Minneapolis City has some excellent gear, including a handful of game-worn jerseys and some beautiful scarves, on their website to purchase. Following them on social media, showing Dan some love, and spreading the word about the club and what it’s doing is fantastic as well!
But if you live in the area, the best way to show your support is to get involved personally by volunteering, attending matches, and making MPLS City your new hometown club. Who knows, maybe you’ll even get featured by the MPLS Catizens! Yes, that’s a Twitter page for a feline supporters group. And yes, it actually exists. Not really sure why, but I have major respect for it.
By the way, I did ask Brian about the Catizens, and he was rather coy about it all…
There really is no hard line of who is or who isn’t part of The Catizens (which is a sub group of the Citizens) but part of the allure is the mystery of them.Brian Schreier, not a cat but still pretty cool
That’s probably a fitting way to wrap up a feature on Minneapolis City. Thanks to Dan Hoedeman, Brian Schreier, and the entire club for being willing to connect and share about what they’re up to. If you’re a MPLS City supporter, make yourself known in the comments and on SmallWorld Social and let me know how I did at capturing the spirit of the club!
Props to Minneapolis City SC for what they’re doing to promote diversity, inclusion, player development, opportunities for local talent, and a positive culture in their local area. Follow their example: watch local soccer, unify those around you, and seek out diversity!