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Nick Rogers, who helped keep pro soccer in Minnesota, leaves United

From left, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, Minnesota United FC President Nick Rogers, Minnesota United Owner Bill McGuire. The three men, along with Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, unveiled the new name and logo of Minnesota’s pro soccer team Tuesday, March 5, 2013. Andy Greder / St. Paul Pioneer Press

ST. PAUL — Minnesota United president Nick Rogers, who was instrumental in keeping pro soccer in Minnesota in 2012, is leaving the organization, United said Tuesday, Dec. 5.

Rogers was a key voice in current owner Bill McGuire's decision to buy the Minnesota Stars, a lower-level club owned by the North American Soccer League. Since 2013, Rogers oversaw the club during its four subsequent seasons in NASL and helped in the pitch to join MLS as an expansion franchise and then its first season in the top domestic league from March to October.

Rogers' future was in doubt when United hired Chris Wright as the club's CEO in September. Wright will now oversee all business and sporting operations. The position of president will not be filled, the club said.

Wright brings 26 years of experience with the Minnesota Timberwolves, including 13 years as the president of the Wolves and Lynx. He said he wants to bring "new organizational capacity and performance" as the club embarks on its second MLS season in 2018 and the build-up to open the club's under-construction home of Allianz Field in St. Paul at the start of the 2019 season.

Wright wants to focus on fan services and the game-day experience in the stadium's Midway neighborhood.

The Pioneer Press is a Forum News Service media partner.

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