A PLAYER'S PERSPECTIVE: KEVIN HOOF

Minneapolis City SC: To some people, it’s just a club, but to me it’s a lot more.

It’s the fans getting into verbal arguments with soccer moms. It’s breathing in the lovely scent of black and pink smoke. It’s crows shitting on your car…then on your day. City isn’t just a semi-professional club that plays good soccer; it’s a community of amazing people.

From fans, to coaches, to players, to the people who keep the club running, everyone involved is truly special. I am honored to be a part of this club and help achieve its goals.

 Kevin Hoof in action for City at Edor Nelson Field in Minneapolis

Kevin Hoof in action for City at Edor Nelson Field in Minneapolis

I want to say a massive thank you to all the fans, the players, the coaching staff, and the club for the support and love they have shown me throughout these last two years. It’s been an amazing experience full of new relationships that I am grateful to have gained.

Now, moving onto the meaty stuff of this article: Playing for Stegman’s and City at the same time.

Stegman’s is something seriously special to me and I’m sure to the other guys as well. It’s still a competitive level of soccer that has its challenges, but it also allows for a more laid back environment to have fun with all the boys.

The guys who play on the team make it truly amazing. There are some serious characters that keep everything interesting and allows for a lot of laughs. There are actually a couple of familiar faces on the team such as Aaron Olson, Timmy Wills, Ben Wexler, and James Neher.

The consistent playing time I get in the games with Stegman’s benefits me as a City player. With Stegman’s, I usually play the full 90 in every game, allowing me to get tons of touches. I can bring what I’ve learned from Minneapolis City and try it in the Stegman’s games without worrying about any mistakes I make having a huge impact on the outcome of the game. City games are fast, but while I’m playing with Stegmans the game slows down a bit and I am able to see things that older, more experienced City players tell me to look for. I’m able to take risks and try new things because I won’t necessarily cause a seriously negative impact on the game if I get it wrong.

There is a little more wiggle room to explore.

Playing with Minneapolis City SC allows for a seriously competitive atmosphere but it’s week-to-week whether you’ll be on the roster or not. There are no guarantees – making the roster is based off your performance and attitude in the week’s practices. The game is very high paced and more physical compared to men’s league. There are some high-class players who have been around awhile and bring lots of experience to the team. These guys are the ones who you learn the most from by asking questions or simply by watching them do their thing on the field.

Something extremely special about Minneapolis City that I don’t get at Stegman’s is the chance to play in front of an incredible fan base.

Playing in front of some rowdy fans that are singing and chanting all game is something special that not many people experience in their soccer careers. The fans bring just as much passion to the game day as the players, which is incredible to see and be a part of.

There’s nothing like throwing in a tackle and then hearing the fans yelling, “You just got HOOF’D!”

Growing up I would have never thought that my last name would turn into a fan-favorite phrase!

Bringing everything together from what I have learned at City and Stegman’s combined, I am able to really rise above up at school.

Learning from the experienced players, playing at a high pace, and being able to try new things all allow me to thrive and improve as a player. I’m able to bring all of these things with me to school and be a leader on the team. I’m able to take the advice and key things I learn from the older guys and coaching staff to in turn improve the younger players on my team. Thanks to my summers, up at school I can be that older experienced player for my squad and make a big impact on my team by being that role model and teacher.

It’s a great feeling to be able to learn a ton over summer and share it with the younger guys who want to become better players themselves.

CITY TO FACE BUGEATERS

Minneapolis -- Minneapolis City is pleased to announce that they will face Nebraska Bugeaters in a home-and-home set of games this summer.

It is the inaugural season for the Lincoln club, which will play its league games in the UPSL Midwest. They will travel to Minneapolis in late April to face City, a good test for both sides. The City U23s will make the trip to Nebraska for a June 23 match against Bugeaters.

"They're a professional organization in a soccer-mad part of the country" said Minneapolis City President Dan Hoedeman. "The talent in their area is more than enough to make them a formidable team, and they have a great brand. We love clubs with great brands even if we have no idea what a bugeater is."

The date of the home match will be announced when City reveal their home stadium for 2018, as they play in a temporary stadium while Edor Nelson Field is under construction. Mid-March is the tentative timing for that announcement.

MEMBER REFERRAL PROGRAM

Refer a friend because soccer is more fun to watch with friends.

And now, we are giving the person you refer $10 off of a 2018 Annual Membership AND we are giving you a $5 merchandise credit.

You can get as many merchandise credits as you refer people, so get after it--especially because it's only good until February 28.

It's easy!

Send them to buy a Membership at www.mplscitysc.com/members

Have them use code WELCOME2MPLS at checkout.

CITY ANNOUNCES NEW U23 TEAM

Minneapolis — Minneapolis City SC is proud to announce the formation of the Minneapolis City U23 team, which will start play in the summer of 2018.

The U23 players will take all trainings in conjunction with the full team, with the idea that standouts will be able to win their spot on the NPSL roster.

Matt VanBeschoten, who has deep coaching experience, including as an assistant coach at Bethel University with Jeremy Iwaszkowiec, will take the reins as coach for the team.

ELDER STATESMAN: MATT ELDER ON PLAYING FOR MCSC

City goalkeeper Matt Elder sat down to talk about his experience with Minneapolis City in his own words:

There are three different types of NPSL soccer players.

The first, college kids looking to keep their form and sharpen their skills heading into a fall season. The second, a stepping stone for players that are hoping to improve and chase a dream of playing at the next level. Last but not least, the third group is the category I fall into: An old guy who has spent his whole life around the game, thrives on competition, and loves to play at a high level while maintaining a social life and a day job.

READ MORE.

PRELIMINARY 2018 CONFERENCE SCHEDULE

Minneapolis -- Minneapolis City SC and the rest of the NPSL North Conference are excited to announce the preliminary 2018 North Conference schedule.

While, as in previous years, we will look to make appropriate adjustments upon the release of the MLS schedule, this allows fans to start booking their schedule now--and pressuring friends who may have the temerity to, say, get married on a match day.

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STEVE IN THE CITY: IAN SMITH'S JOURNEY WITH MCSC

City midfielder Ian "Steve" Smith sat down and talked about his journey with the club in his own words:

I’m currently entering my third season with Minneapolis City, and, at a whopping 20 years of age, I'm only just past my teenage years. I don’t think I can truly describe how beneficial the last two summers with MCSC has been for me in my development as a player on and off the field.

I have gathered information in facets of soccer I never thought would be necessary, yet here I am; conducting interviews, forming relationships with fans, holding kids hands as I walk on to the pitch even though I was them a mere 6-8 years in the past. It really is a special thing to be able to say I play for a unique club in the city where I was born and raised, while still gaining the vital elements I need to further my career in soccer.

READ MORE.

MEET HEAD ATHLETIC TRAINER DAVID BLOOMQUIST

 David Bloomquist before he started flying with the Crows.

David Bloomquist before he started flying with the Crows.

Minneapolis City SC are excited to welcome David Bloomquist as Head Athletic Trainer for the club. Bloomquist, of Twin Cities Orthopedics, boasts impressive experience as a trainer and with soccer specifically, having previously spent three years with Minnesota United FC and Minnesota United FC Reserves.

We stole a few minutes to chat with David before surely keeping him busy as we prepare for our US Open Cup qualifier on November 19.

What is interesting about working with Minneapolis City?

"I'm most excited about working with high-level local athletes. It's always fun to work with current and former collegiate players and it will be great to work with some former athletes from my time with MNUFC."

Why did you become an Athletic Trainer?

“I always wanted to be in the healthcare field. Growing up as an athlete and playing throughout college, I realize how great a population of athletes are to work with. My experiences with various athletic trainers during my athletics career definitely helped shape my desire to become an athletic trainer myself.”

You have spent a lot of time working with soccer players? Why is that and do you have a specific approach for soccer players?

“I’ve always been a fan of the game. My first job out of graduate school was working with the men’s soccer team at St. John’s University and then I was fortunate enough to spend some time working with Minnesota United FC during the last three years of their tenure in the NASL.”

“Soccer players are unique because of the demands of the game. Overall, I would say that I use more manual therapy and hands-on techniques with soccer players than I might with other types of athletes. In terms of recovery from injury, you have to be able to train them both of the endurance and the explosive aspects of the match which can be a unique challenge.”

The NPSL has a short and intense season. How does that change, if it does, your approach?

“There is definitely a big emphasis on recovery with all of the players to make sure that they are taking care of their bodies, especially during weeks where they may have two or three games over the course of a week. The compactness of the NPSL schedule can take a tool on the players if they aren’t taking necessary steps to recover properly.”

What sets TCO apart?

“I feel that the value that TCO places on our community partners and the emphasis that is placed on quality care set us apart from other orthopedic and sports medicine providers. We strive to add value to our partner organizations whether those are youth, high school, collegiate, or professional relationships and provide our patients with the best possible experience.”

TWIN CITIES ORTHOPEDICS BECOMES CLUB'S OFFICIAL SPORTS MEDICINE PROVIDER

Minneapolis -- Minneapolis City SC is proud to announce Twin Cities Orthopedics as Official Sports Medicine Provider for the club beginning with the 2018 National Premier Soccer League season.

Minneapolis City President Dan Hoedeman said: "This is a big step in our continued effort to build a professional-like, high-performance environment for our players. The talent that TCO has and that will be working with us is top level, as we strive to be."

Rebecca Knight, TCO relationship marketing, said: "We are excited to work with Minneapolis City professionally because we love to work with high-performance athletes and because they have such a loyal, soccer-savvy following."

TCO will provide sports medicine and athletic training support throughout the season and include baseline and brain health testing in the preseason to ensure that our players are safe and ready for peak performance.

David Bloomquist will be the Lead Athletic Trainer working with Minneapolis City. Bloomquist, previously the Head Athletic Trainer with Minnesota United FC, brings a wealth of soccer-specific experience and expertise to the job.

"I can't wait to get started," said Bloomquist. "I enjoy working with athletes and helping them manage through the rigors of the compact and intense NPSL season."

ANNOUNCING TCO AS OFFICIAL SPORTS MEDICINE PROVIDER

Minneapolis -- Minneapolis City SC is proud to announce Twin Cities Orthopedics as Official Sports Medicine Provider for the club beginning with the 2018 National Premier Soccer League season.

Minneapolis City President Dan Hoedeman said: "This is a big step in our continued effort to build a professional-like, high-performance environment for our players. The talent that TCO has and that will be working with us is top level, as we strive to be."

Rebecca Knight, TCO relationship marketing, said: "We are excited to work with Minneapolis City professionally because we love to work with high-performance athletes and because they have such a loyal, soccer-savvy following."

TCO will provide sports medicine and athletic training support throughout the season, and will include baseline and concussion testing in the preseason to ensure that our players are safe and ready for peak performance.

David Bloomquist will be the Head Athletic Trainer working with Minneapolis City. Bloomquist, brings a wealth of soccer-specific experience and expertise on the job, after spending three season with Minnesota United FC and the Minnesota United FC Reserves.

"I can't wait to get started," said Bloomquist. "Soccer is a passion of mine and I enjoy helping athletes manage the rigors of the very intense NPSL."