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Continued: Minnesota United FC rebrands, retools and reinvigorates

  • Article by: DAVID LA VAQUE , Star Tribune
  • Last update: April 4, 2013 - 11:43 PM

“There is no team that is going to win if players are not on the same page,” Campos said. “People here are very close. They are friends on and off the field. Manny created a good locker room atmosphere, and that’s why Minnesota was one of the hardest teams to play against.”

Kevin Friedland, a part-time player, assistant coach and member of the United FC front office, said Lagos “was a professional athlete and professional athletes hate to lose. We thrive on pressure. Our jobs are scrutinized by the public. When he’s the head coach, his name is in front of everything. He’s aware you live with the successes and die with the failures.”

Changes to the NASL playoff structure will force Minnesota, a team susceptible to slumps, to find its groove early and maintain it. The season is split into two halves, the spring and fall. Each is essentially a mini-tournament, with the winning team from the spring playing the fall winner for the league title.

“It’s going to be difficult, which is why we went out and got the players we did in addition to the group we have already,” said Djorn Buchholz, vice president of sporting operations and longtime front-office member for the Thunder and Stars. “The season dictates that we have to do something a little different than we’ve done the past two years.”

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