Andy Greder / St. Paul Pioneer Press
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Gophers men’s basketball team led North Florida for the final 14 minutes Tuesday night, Dec. 11, at Williams Arena. But there was little comfort in Minnesota’s 81-71 win over a program from the little-known Atlantic Sun Conference. Minnesota (9-2) overcame another poor 3-point shooting night to survive North Florida, a 12-year-old Division I program with only one NCAA tournament appearance four years ago.
GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. -- Bill McGuire doesn’t occupy a windowed corner office inside Minnesota United’s workplace in Golden Valley. Instead of a space befitting his title, the principal owner of the Major League Soccer club occupies something more like a cubicle, without a window and in a row of many just like it.
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Gophers volleyball team has bulldozed most of its opponents this season, but they’ve been run over themselves twice -- and one of the culprits is up next. That would be No. 15 Oregon, which beat second-ranked Minnesota way back on Sept. 7, 3-1, during a tournament in Palo Alto, Calif. The teams meet again Friday, Dec. 7, with a trip to the Elite Eight on the line. “I mean, they’re good,” Gophers coach Hugh McCutcheon said of the Ducks. “We knew they were good, and they’re still good.”
MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota Gophers senior forward Jordan Murphy asked head coach Richard Pitino an off-the-court question a few weeks ago: What should he say to Dupree McBrayer? McBrayer’s mother, Tayra McFarlane, was not well and Murphy wasn’t sure how to approach it with his teammate. “Nobody knows what to say,” Pitino told him. “You just say you’re there for them and you be there for them all the time.”
MINNEAPOLIS -- Dan Gavitt’s first in-person Final Four turned out to be historic: Magic versus Bird. The 1979 NCAA championship game marked the beginning of what became a legendary NBA rivalry as Magic Johnson’s Michigan State team beat Larry Bird’s Indiana State squad, 75-64, in Salt Lake City. Given Gavitt’s current job — the NCAA’s senior vice president of basketball — that iconic title game serves as a timepiece for another reason. It was held at the University of Utah’s 15,000-seat Jon M. Huntsman Center, so the set-up was easy.
PAUL -- Minnesota United declined contract options on nine players from this year’s team on Monday, Nov. 26, opening up roster spots and creating more salary flexibility to add new players before a critical 2019 season opens at Allianz Field in St.
MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota United hosted a blowout goodbye party at its rented home Sunday, Oct. 21. On a sunny and warm fall afternoon, plenty of trappings surrounded the Major League Soccer game — a pre-party at a brewery, fashionable entrances, live music, a toast from the club's owner and a fireworks finale. But like throughout the club's two-year lease at the college football venue, it never felt just right. After being eliminated for the MLS Cup playoffs weeks ago, the Loons couldn't put a bow on the lost season, falling 3-1 to the Los Angeles Galaxy.
MINNEAPOLIS — Darwin is just different. Over his first six months in Minnesota, United's center attacking midfielder Darwin Quintero has impressed teammates, coaches and fans with his skill, will and indescribable moments of brilliance. With 11 goals and 13 assists in 25 games, he is one of only six players in Major League Soccer with double digits in both categories this season. He will be front and center Sunday, Oct. 21, when the Loons attempt to break the record for biggest home attendance for a soccer game featuring a Minnesota club.
ST. PAUL — Brent Kallman will remain a Loon when Minnesota United opens Allianz Field in St. Paul next season. The defender from Woodbury, Minn., has a contract in place with the Major League Soccer club for the 2019 season, sources told the Pioneer Press. With Kallman, United will retain its longest-tenured player into the club's unveiling of its new $250-million stadium in the Midway neighborhood next April.
MINNEAPOLIS—Minnesota United forward Abu Danladi has fallen into an abyss during his second MLS season. Now, Loons coach Adrian Heath and sporting director Manny Lagos must pull him out of it. All three are in this predicament together.