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Minnesota United’s move to Major League Soccer puts a Twin Cities soccer franchise in the top tier of North American soccer for the first time since the 1980s.
1976: Minnesota Kicks begin in the North American Soccer League, sometimes drawing 40,000 fans or more at Met Stadium. Franchise folded in ’81.
1984: Fort Lauderdale Strikers relocate to Minnesota, play one NASL season in the Metrodome, three seasons indoors at Met Center.
1990: Minnesota soccer guru Buzz Lagos helps found the Minnesota Thunder; team played at the National Sports Center in Blaine.
1996: Major League Soccer begins play with 10 teams, none in Minnesota.
2009: Minnesota Thunder is dismantled.
2010: NSC Minnesota Stars, owned and operated by the National Sports Center, play one season.
2011: Stars become a league-owned franchise in the relaunched North American Soccer League, winning the championship.
2012: Stars lose in the Soccer Bowl championship, amid signs the team would fold for lack of a private owner stepping forward.
2013: Former United HealthGroup chief executive Bill McGuire buys the team, which is renamed Minnesota United.
March 2015: Team is awarded an MLS franchise, announces plans to build a new stadium.
August 2016: League announces Minnesota United will begin MLS play in 2017.