The United kicks off its MLS history Friday night with its first game in America's top league. We take a look back at how other Minnesota professional sports teams fared in their debuts.


Vikings vs. Bears

Sept. 17, 1961, Met Stadium

Fran Tarkenton, in a sign of things to come for the franchise’s all-time passing leader, completed 17 of 23 passes for 250 yards and four touchdowns in the Vikings’ 37-13 romp. Tarkenton also ran for a score. The Vikings would win just two more games all season (both at home, over Baltimore and Los Angeles).

Did you know? The Vikings and Packers played on back-to-back weeks that season, with Green Bay winning 28-10 and 38-17

That day in history: Roger Maris belted a two-run home run – number 58 in his record-breaking season – in the top of the 12th inning to give the Yankees a 6-4 victory over the Tigers in Detroit.


Twins at Yankees

April 11, 1961, Yankee Stadium

Bob Allison led off the seventh inning with a solo home run to left off Whitey Ford, all the offense the Twins would need in an eventual 6-0 drubbing of the defending American League champion Bronx Bombers. Reno Bertoia would add a two-run shot in the eighth, his only home run with the Twins in the 1961 season (he was traded to Kansas City and later to Detroit) and the second-to-last round-tripper of his 10-year career.

Did you know? Four MLB Hall-of-Famers appeared in the game: Ford, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra and Harmon Killebrew.

That day in history: Roughly eight hours after this game ended, just after midnight Eastern Standard Time, Vostok 1 launched from Kazakhstan carrying cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space.


Timberwolves at SuperSonics

Nov. 3, 1989, Seattle Center Coliseum

Brad Lohaus won the opening tip from Seattle’s Derrek McKey and the NBA was officially off and running with a Minneapolis franchise again nearly 30 years after the Lakers shipped west. The Wolves, backed by a pack of Twin Citians wearing wolf masks and howling inside the arena, forced eight SuperSonics turnovers in the opening 12 minutes and led by four at the half before eventually falling 106-94 in Game No. 1.

Did you know? Dale Ellis made four straight three-pointers in the second half to help Seattle pull away. Minnesota attempted four three-pointers all game, making just one.

That (month) in history: Just in time for Twin Cities beat writers to cover a milestone game two time zones away the first internet service provider, The World, is developed in Massachusetts by Barry Shein.


Lynx vs. Detroit

June 12, 1999, Target Center

Following a forgettable start that saw a 0-0 tie three minutes into the game, Tonya Edwards (20), Brandy Reed (16) and Sonja Tate (12) combined for 48 points to lead the Lynx to a 68-51 victory over the Shock. The crowd of 12,122 included Kirby Puckett, Jimmy Jam, Kevin Garnett and Bobby Jackson sitting courtside. The Lynx, who trailed by as many as 27 points just days earlier their a preseason finale at Orlando, fed off the home reception to earn the victory.

Did you know? Lynx coach Brian Agler left the ABL’s Columbus Quest midway through the 1998-99 season to take the job in Minnesota. A handful of Quest players (such as Edwards, Katie Smith, Andrea Lloyd-Curry and Shanele Stires) followed him and became founding Lynx players.

That date in history: Texas governor George W. Bush announced his candidacy for president, an election he would win six months later after a controversial court battle with Al Gore.


Wild at Anaheim

Oct. 6, 2000, Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim

The Ducks’ first shot of the game whizzed past Jamie McLennan and skipped off the iron 12 seconds after puck drop, perhaps a nod from the hockey gods to give Minnesota a break after seven long years without an NHL franchise. Though first-round pick Marian Gaborik scored on one of his team-high five shots, the Wild’s first game didn’t go as planned – a 3-1 loss to the Ducks. Minnesota wouldn’t win a game for another 12 days.

Did you know? Anaheim’s victory was its first in eight opening nights as an NHL franchise, and the first time in three years the Ducks scored a goal in the opener.

That day in history: Carlos Guillen’s bunt past a diving Frank Thomas scored Rickey Henderson, giving the Mariners an American League Division Series sweep over the White Sox. It was the last postseason game-winning run of Henderson’s Hall-of-Fame career.

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