On a hot and humid June night in St. Petersburg, Fla., Minnesota United FC were crowned North American Soccer League Spring Season Champions.
The pressure was on for Minnesota United FC as it controlled its own destiny in the final game of the 2014 NASL Spring Season against the Tampa Bay Rowdies. Minnesota fans experienced a wide range of dread to euphoric emotions as the match wore on, but United ultimately held on to a 3-3 tie to clinch the Spring.
"I just think as wide open as the game got it really characterized what we did as a team this year," said Minnesota United Head Coach Manny Lagos. "We had some great moments of soccer and had to deal with a team that was playing at home and playing desperate, but we really responded well. By no means was it a perfect game, but it characterized the attitude and the way the guys were the first half of the season."
A high-pressure match was nothing new for the Minnesota side that has gone up against big market teams all season long. This includes beating the legendary New York Cosmos to the top of the table as little separated the two on the final matchday of the Spring Season.
"I am extremely proud of our team and the way we played tonight," said United President Nick Rogers. "I am so proud of how we finished out the game and got the result we needed to clinch the Spring. But we are not going to celebrate this for long, our goal has always been to win the Soccer Bowl and this is an important first step, but its just the first step. There won't be any let up from us."
The Spring Season title guarantees United a spot in the postseason. A newly created 4-team postseason that see the Spring and Fall Champions hosting first round matches.
The Spring Championship was made official just days later with a trophy presentation at Brit’s Pub in downtown Minneapolis on June 10. This marked another title for MUFC; the biggest in their history being the 2011 NASL Championship.