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The United Beat

Jerry Zgoda writes about Major League Soccer and Minnesota United.

Loons announce May 22 international friendly with Hertha Berlin

Minnesota United will play its first international friendly at Allianz Field on May 22 against the German Bundesliga league’s Hertha Berlin for a 7 p.m. start.

United CEO Chris Wright calls the game against such an opponent “a historic moment for our club” and another step toward putting Minnesota and St. Paul “on the global soccer map.”

Season-ticket members already have a ticket for the game. General-public tickets go on sale March 5. Preserve newsletter subscribers and season-ticket members seeking additional tickets will have access to presales starting next week.

Hertha Berlin is its city’s biggest soccer club. Nicknamed “The Old Lady,” it was a founding member of the Bundesliga league and remains the only Berlin club in Germany’s first division. It also has a successful youth development program.

Hertha Berlin will come to Allianz Field at the end of its current league season.

United going with rookie goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair vs. NYCFC

Looks like Minnesota United is going with rookie draft pick Dayne St. Clair -- maybe for the distance -- in today's friendly against New York City F.C. on a hot, sunny afternoon in Orlando.

Starting goalkeeper Vito Mannone remains away while he finalizes visa and immigration issues and Bobby Shuttleworth has gone home because of a personal matter.

That leaves United with St. Clair -- a Generation Adidas prospect who was drafted seven overall in January's SuperDraft -- and trialist Austin Pack, a former UNC Charlotte, NASL and USL Championship keeper.

United started Romario again at forward. Coach Adrien Heath said Tuesday he wanted to get striker Angelo Rodriguez 45 minutes today in his comeback from what Heath called a slight groin injury, but it looks like the Loons will be cautious and give him more time.

Here's the lineup in this Orlando City Invitational game:

                                                               Romario Ibarra

                                      Rasmus Schuller, Darwin Quintero, Miguel Ibarra

                                                       Jan Gregus, Ozzie Alonso

                                   Francisco Calvo, Michale Boxall, Ike Opara, Romain Metanire

                                                                 Dayne St. Clair

There's no streaming of this game with a 3:30 p.m. Central start on the Internet, so follow me on Twitter (@JerryZgoda) and on and in the paper for post-game coverage.


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