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In June, it was announced that Minnesota would soon have its first ever professional women’s team. The move comes after decades of advocacy for women sports and the growth of soccer in the U.S.. Minnesota Women’s soccer is joining the USL-W League as a founding member, joining eight other teams, across the country, in its inaugural season in 2022.  


Vida Y Deportes spoke with Andrea Yoch, one of the founders of Minnesota Women’s Soccer, about the development of the club and its inaugural season in the spring of 2022.  


What does it mean to you to be both a pioneer and a founder of professional women’s soccer in the state of Minnesota?


Andrea: I’ve been working in sports since I was 19, but for a long time I’ve been the only woman in whatever area I was in–radio, newspaper, business. I’ve had great mentors, they were great, but they were all men. There are some things men don’t know about being a woman in sports.


Being able to create an environment to help players with what they want to do after soccer, means a huge amount to me. I didn’t have that.I look forward to providing that to the next generation. 


What inspired you to get involved in this venture and why is soccer in Minnesota, particular for women footballers, so important?


Andrea: Serendipity. I’ve worked in soccer for 10-20 years, i worked at MNUFC.  I worked at international cups, men and womens. What I saw was that there was a passion for women’s game, growing in the last few years. A few of us were chatting about waiting to bring a women’s team to town–why not us? When we were investigating, we said we could do this.  We don’t need to wait for anyone, and that’s when we decided to go for it. 


Where does your love of soccer come from?


Andrea: I love soccer. It’s international, my parents were immigrants, and soccer is the one game that transcends country. You don’t have to explain it like hockey and american football. Soccer is the one melting pot and I love that.


My father was hungarian and a world refugee and my mother is from Ireland. They met in London. My dad stayed in Boston and they loved being in America, so they stayed. My favorite memories are going to sporting events, baseball. I live in Baltimore and used to have Baltimore Blast tickets, an indoor soccer league. You made friends with everyone around you at Memorial Stadium. That’s the atmosphere I want to create and invite everyone to be a part of. 


I read that you were a community owned team, what exactly does that mean to you? 


Andrea: Pre-professional, not everyone is pro. There will be college players. Community ownership has been done on the men’s side, fans can own a share of the team. For example, The Green Bay Packers, you own the team, as pride, but not ownership. Our fans can decide things like team names, team branding, those are big pieces to vote on. 


As we grow, as things come up and make sure we are dialed in, we will put that out to vote. What do you think? Should we try this or not? Having a dedicated focus group all the time, instead of big decisions with the small group, but always reflecting with the community which is very important for us. 


The first games are expected to be played in May of 2022. What’s on your to-do list before the opening day?


Andrea: Urgent is community ownership piece. We just got permission to be at the state fair, we hope to do a community ownership piece there, tell folks. We are doing the legal paperwork and so people can trust their money with this. We just launched a new logo by with a Minnesota Gopher player. After, is finding head coach. We would like to have her in place no later than late fall, early winter. We need her for tryouts, player searches, looking for staff, and where we play.


So, Community ownership, head coach, and we are having sponsorships conversation.


How much did your experience as VP at MNUFC prepare you for this? 


Andrea: When I got to United, no one knew we had a team. We had to convince people to drive to Blaine. We were able to build an atmosphere that created a crowd of 12,000 people that loved to be there. Saturday nights in Blaine were a personal party. I would see so many friends and family members and make new friends. We are applying that same energy towards this new venture, telling people, “We want you, please come,” and not just assuming that people will show up. 


I was fortunate to do it with ICC and women’s ICC, taking something that people don’t know about, bring them and making sure that on Monday night, that person is saying “I went to this game. It was fun, my kids loved it. Have you heard about it?” That’s what we created with the with United that I want to recreate with this team.


What has been the most exciting part of building the foundation for the club?


Andrea: Support from the community has been overwhelming. When we launched, the media was supportive and excited. We had a huge launch event. The other women and I were in the Gopher locker room changing from set up to event clothes. We came out to the soccer field, we had so many people on the field. We were like, “Wow!” All sorts of people, the representation that we had hoped for.

We invited everyone and they came excited, and they had fun and it was all over social media. It was amazing, and it validated what we were doing, validated that we were doing the right thing, that it’s something the community wants and that’s what continues to fuel us. 


What has been the most challenging? 


Andrea: I am a “lets have an idea and lets run with it” person.  It’s great in marketing, and I’m a freelance marketer. That said, this is serious and big time, so, for me, it’s taking time–attorneys are looking at language, that the franchise agreements are okay, state fair agreements, etc. Not just signing things, we have a group of smart people. Business, accounting and legal to set up properly. We want people to trust us, so we have to be organized to do this thing. We have attorneys donating time and financial people to help us out. Having them has been great.


What message do you have for young girls and women training hard to become professional soccer players or work in the sports industry in some capacity? 


Andrea: The opportunities are growing by leaps and bounds everyday. If this is what you want to do on the field, in the office, with lots of jobs supporting sports, it’s possible. The world is changing. When I was younger, I wanted to go into sports and people would say, “Why? Girls don’t do that.” I never played, I’m on the business side. Some people would say, “I’m looking for a husband.” I just love sports, the opportunity is so bright. 


Keep working hard in school, think about what you want to do, network, reach out to people that you want to know, people are generous with networking when asked. To work in sports is a privilege, we are not saving lives, as we saw during the pandemic, we can survive without sports, we were not critical in getting vaccines, so it’s fun and a privilege, if you want to do it, go for it. You work really really hard and have so much reward. 


What do you imagine as the impact of the club long-term?


Andrea: It’s treating the women’s game equally to the men’s game–not cutting corners, not treating the women as lesser than athletes. It’s treating them like they deserve to be treated. I look at Jessica McDonald, my hero, as a mother, being the best at what she is. Crystal Dunn, Megan Rapinoe, they are the best of their sport but they are role models, and have other endeavors, that’s something that women do. That’s not just one thing, we do 40 things. 


I want this to be a place we want people to play. We treat players the best, coaches are the best, no one screaming in your face. We have great medical care, we want to make them feel welcomed in the Twin Cities. We’ve had great outreach from other teams in the Cities, in what is an amazing sports scene.


The women’s team are understaffed, they are the secondary product of the men’s team, they don’t have dedicated people, until that changes, it’s hard to change perception and the media can’t change the perception, might be the 7 things that PR team should do. By being independent our only focus is the women’s team and we hope that will start changing things. We will be a pebble that will become a mountain, people will be sick of me and I will keep trying. 


I urge readers to go to You can become a community member of MN women soccer! 


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La selección de los Estados Unidos despierta en las eliminatorias de la CONCACAF



La selección de los Estados Unidos estaba teniendo otro fracaso clasificatorio para la Copa del Mundo ante Honduras, pero entró Antonee Robinson, y rápidamente empató el marcador y celebró con su clásica voltereta hacia atrás.

En ese momento el juego entero pronto cambió a favor del equipo de las barras y las estrellas.

Ricardo Pepi puso a Estados Unidos por delante en el minuto 75, Brenden Aaronson y Sebastian Lletget agregaron goles tardíos y Estados Unidos superó a Honduras 4-1 el miércoles por la noche.

Pepi tuvo un gol y dos asistencias en su debut, y los estadounidenses exhalaron después de una semana tumultuosa de lesiones, pruebas positivas de COVID-19 y un gran problema disciplinario. Ganaron por segunda vez en 41 eliminatorias en las que estaban perdidos en el entretiempo (seis empates).

El entrenador Gregg Berhalter celebró una reunión de equipo antes del partido y les dijo a los jugadores que los primeros empates en El Salvador y en casa contra Canadá “no habrían condenado la clasificación”. El portero estadounidense Zack Steffen, el defensa Sergiño Dest y el mediocampista Gio Reyna se lesionaron, Steffen dio positivo por Covid y el mediocampista Weston McKennie fue enviado a casa por Berhalter por violar los protocolos COVID del equipo.

Berhalter pensó que la charla ayudó a los jugadores a comenzar a relajarse.

Aun así, Brayan Moya puso por delante a Honduras, que ocupa el puesto 63 del ranking de la FIFA, en el minuto 27, se liberó de George Bello y cabeceó un centro de Diego Rodríguez que superó al portero Matt Turner después de que John Brooks perdiera el balón.

La nueva estrella del equipo norteamericano, Christian Pulisic, se lesionó el tobillo izquierdo al comienzo de la segunda mitad, intentó continuar y cayó al terreno de juego durante un sprint pocos minutos después. Fue reemplazado en el minuto 62.

Pepi, quien anotó el penalti ganador en el Juego de Estrellas de la Major League Soccer del mes pasado contra la Liga MX, a los 18 años y 242 días se convirtió en el segundo estadounidense más joven en aparecer en una eliminatoria detrás de Pulisic a los 17 años y 193 días en marzo de 2016. .

Berhalter hizo cinco cambios de alineación, insertando a Pepi, Bello, Mark McKenzie y James Sands para sus debuts de clasificación y trayendo de vuelta a Josh Sargent, quien abrió el primer partido. Formaron parte de una alineación que promedió la más joven de la historia de la selección de los Estados Unidos.

Criticado por esperar demasiado para insertar suplentes el domingo, Berhalter inyectó a Robinson, Lletget y Aaronson para comenzar la segunda mitad por Brooks, Bello y Sargent.

Robinson empató a los 48 con su primer gol internacional. Pulisic recibió un pase de Pepi en el centro del campo, dribló y se desvió hacia Lletget, que cruzó. Pepi retrocedió a Robinson, quien anotó con una volea de derecha.

Pepi puso a Estados Unidos por delante en el 75. Dos minutos después de remplazar a Sands, DeAndre Yedlin cruzó y Pepi superó el salto a Marcelo Pereira para rematar un cabezazo a la izquierda del portero Luis López.

Pepi irrumpió en el área de penalti a los 86 y corrió a favor de Aaronson, cuyo disparo de pierna derecha desde 12 metros fue su quinto gol internacional y el segundo de la clasificación.

Luis López echó mano al remate de Pepi en el tercer minuto del tiempo de descuento. Lletget, siguiendo la jugada, lanzó el balón a la red abierta para su octavo gol internacional. Estados Unidos anotó cuatro goles en una eliminatoria mundialista en Centroamérica por primera vez.

México lidera la región de América del Norte, Centroamérica y el Caribe con siete puntos, seguido de Canadá y Estados Unidos con cinco puntos cada uno y goles idénticos a favor y en contra. Panamá tiene cinco puntos y va por detrás de los goles, mientras que Costa Rica y Honduras tienen dos puntos cada uno y Jamaica queda en el fondo con uno. Las tres primeras naciones se clasifican.

Canadá venció 3-0 al visitante El Salvador con goles de Atiba Hutchison, Jonathan David y Tajon Buchanan. México consiguió un gol de Jesús Corona en el minuto 76 en el empate 1-1 ante Panamá, que se adelantó con el gol de Rolando Blackburn en el minuto 28. Costa Rica empató 1-1 al visitar Jamaica. Jimmy Marín anotó en el tercer minuto para los locales y Shamar Nicholson empató el marcador a los 47.

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La Universidad de St. Thomas debutará en la División I universitaria con su equipo varonil de fútbol



El equipo varonil de fútbol de St. Thomas abrió sus sesiones de práctica de otoño el pasado lunes 9 de agosto en preparación para su temporada inaugural compitiendo en la División I universitaria de los Estados Unidos.

Los Tommies del entrenador Jon Lowery se probarán con una variedad de programas establecidos y jugarán 12 de 17 partidos como visitante entre el 20 de agosto y el 26 de octubre. Abrirán su calendario de 19 partidos con tres juego de exhibición en un lapso de seis días: 18 de agosto en casa contra St. Cloud State; 20 de agosto en Wisconsin; y el 23 de agosto en Notre Dame.

El conocido equipo Púrpura jugará otros 16 partidos que contarán en el récord oficial de victorias y derrotas y en los libros de récords, incluidos seis en casa, nueve partidos fuera de casa y un sitio neutral. Sus viajes como visitantes esta temporada incluyen paradas en Madison, South Bend, Houston, Chicago, Spokane, Denver, Milwaukee y Green Bay.

Los Tommies jugarán un calendario de seis partidos de la Summit League, comenzando con un juego como visitante el 25 de septiembre en el miembro afiliado de la conferencia Eastern Illinois.

Los juegos en el estadio South Field incluirán rivales como Drake, Cal Baptist, Western Michigan, Oral Roberts, Omaha y Kansas City.

Tres oponentes están recibiendo votos fuera de los 25 principales sondeos de la División I: Denver, Omaha y Notre Dame.

“En pocas palabras, estamos haciendo historia este otoño a medida que continuamos construyendo nuestra cultura de excelencia ahora como programa de la División I”, dijo Lowery. “Entre los juegos de exhibición y los que no son conferencias, jugaremos programas que representan las conferencias Big 10, ACC, Big East, MAC, Horizon y otros en preparación para nuestro primer año en la Summit League.

“Tengo un sincero agradecimiento por mis colegas de todo el país que fueron tan acogedores y ayudaron a preparar nuestro primer programa. Conocemos la responsabilidad y esperamos representar a St. Thomas en seis estados diferentes este otoño (Wisconsin, Indiana, Texas, Illinois, Washington y Colorado) siendo el primer programa en jugar fútbol masculino de la División I en el estado de Minnesota”.

Lowery, quien está comenzando su décima temporada como entrenador, tenía 10 años de experiencia como jugador de la División I y entrenador asistente. Lowery, dos veces arquero All-Big Ten en Ohio State, jugó fútbol profesional y luego entrenó en el personal con los Buckeyes, UMass y el campeón de la NCAA Wake Forest. Lowery contrató al ex jugador D-I  Evan Sassano como asistente de tiempo completo para su personal de St. Thomas.

Los Púrpura tienen 18 jugadores que se mantienen en el programa y nueve recién llegados compitiendo por ganarse un lugar en el equipo. Por cuestiones de elegibilidad por Covid y la oportunidad D-I, cinco de los siete seniors de St. Thomas son estudiantes-atletas de quinto año, y su lista también incluye siete juniors.

St. Thomas terminó con 73 ganados, 13 perdidos y 8 empatados en las últimas cinco temporadas, incluido un récord de 14 ganados y 2 perdidos en sus últimos 16 juegos para cerrar su era de División III.

Los desafíos de Covid eliminaron la temporada de otoño de 2020 para los equipos de la División III, pero los Tommies pudieron jugar cuatro juegos la primavera pasada con un récord de 3 ganados y 1 perdido.



2021 St. Thomas Men’s Soccer Schedule

Wed. 8/18 HOME St. Cloud State*** (5 p.m.)
Fri. 8/20 @ Wisconsin*** (7 p.m.)
Mon. 8/23 @ Notre Dame*** (7 p.m.)
Thur. 8/26 @ Houston Baptist (8 p.m.)
Sun. 8/29 vs Incarnate Word @Houston (5:30 p.m.)

Thur. 9/2 @ DePaul (3 p.m.)
Sat. Sept. 4 @ Northern Illinois (TBA)
Mon. 9/6 HOME Drake (4 p.m.)
Fri. 9/10 @ Gonzaga (5 p.m.)
Wed. 9/15 @ UW-Green Bay (4 p.m.)
Mon. 9/20 HOME Cal Baptist (4 p.m.)
Sat. 9/25 @ Eastern Illinois (1 p.m.) (SL)
Tue. 9/28 HOME Western Michigan (4 p.m.)

Sat. 10/2 HOME Oral Roberts (1 p.m.) (SL)
Sat. 10/9 @ Denver (6 p.m.) (SL)
Sat. 10/16 @ Western Illinois (1 p.m.) (SL)
Sat. 10/23 HOME Omaha (1 p.m.) (SL)
Tue. 10/26 @ UW-Milwaukee (7 p.m.)
Sat. 10/30 HOME vs Kansas City (1 p.m.) (SL)

*** Exhibition Game

(SL)-Summit League Game

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other sports

Euro 2020 and Copa America Final Preview



The Euro 2020 and Copa America have been filled with drama–on and off the pitch–and has provided us with new classics that we’ll be talking about for years to come. But just as quick as it came, we are now at the climax–the finals.

In the Euro final, we have England taking on Italy. In the Copa America it’s the South American powerhouses, Argentina facing off against Brazil.

Euro final

England has not made a major tournament final at the senior men’s level since the World Cup 1966. In fact, this is their first ever appearance in the Euro final. Their opponents, Italy, are four time World Cup champions (1934, 1938, 1982, 2006) and one time European champions (1968). For both sides, it’s an opportunity to surge back to European glory. 

Both sides play very different brands of soccer. The Azzurri pride themselves on their stingy defense and fast counter-attacking style. The Three lions play a balanced style of counter-attacking and possession, looking to expose defenses with their speedy wing play. 

The key to glory is the midfield

For Italy, they need to create more openings through the midfield and put away the chances they create. Against Spain, they let La Roja run rampant in the final third, where they fired off 16 shots on goal. Luckily for them, Spain couldn’t score. Against England, a team that loves to play with space, it would be their undoing.

Controlling the midfield is just as crucial for England. Despite their 17 shots against Denmark, the Danish often looked dangerous on the ball. Against an Italian team with more bite and an even more stout defense, the Three Lions must do what Spain couldn’t–take full control of the ball and finish their chances.


Italy has been the headline of this year’s tournament. They’ve exceeded all our expectations, but they may be facing the deepest team they’ve encountered this tournament. England has had an easier route to the finals, and have often looked off the mark of a championship team, but they have more than enough quality to “bring it home.” 

There’s not much to separate these two squads, but should it become a game of endurance, like the semi’s, their bench mob of Rashford, Foden, Sancho, etc, could change the course of the game. Final prediction, England wins, 2-1. 

Copa America Final

In what has turned out to be a fairly predictable Copa America, soccer fans are in for a treat as South American juggernauts, Argentina and Brazil face off in the finals. 

The Seleção, reigning champions and nine time winners of the cup, are looking to win their tenth Copa America tournament, while La Albiceleste, 14 times winners of the tournament, are just one victory away from tying Uruguay as joint-record holder (15). 

Keys to the game: Defense and Clinical Finishing

Brazil has enjoyed a comfortable run to the finals. Though they’ve been challenged, they never looked in control of the outcome. Against Argentina, they’ll have to maintain their confidence and defensive shape. More importantly, they have to find a way to slow down red-hot Lionel Messi from creating opportunities.

For Argentina, it’s much the same. Ten different players have scored for Brazil this tournament, highlighting their ability to score from all over the pitch and in a multitude of ways. With Messi and Lautaro Martinez on their squad, scoring won’t be their primary concern, defending Brazil on the counter and build-up play is. Limiting easy chances and counters will be crucial. 


Defense will be important, but make no mistake about it, this match will be a battle of possession between the best two attacking teams on the continent. Brazil holds a slight advantage in that department, but it will be close.

La Albiceleste have Messi, the soccer wizard and leading scorer of the tournament. The Seleção has Neymar, one of the most electric and perturbing players in the world. 

Either maestro could tip their balance to their squad, but their teammates will have to step up as well. For this reason, Brazil has the upperhand in this match-up. With a more balanced line-up and relentless attack, the Seleção will win la decima with  3-1 Brazil over their rivals. 

What are your predictions? Comment below!

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