A coup for the Crows as City heads into its first NPSL season, Kallman brings with him a notable pedigree. Brian’s brother Brent has spent the last four years playing with Minnesota United, and their sister Kassey — recently named FiftyFive.One Minnesota Women’s Player of the Year — has spent three seasons in the NWSL, and is set to pay for the Washington Spirit this year after spending the last two with the Boston Breakers.
Having made 153 combined appearances for the Thunder, Stars and Loons from 2006 to 2015, Kallman is an important link in the chain of players, coaches and fans that tie the three iterations of Minnesota’s present-era professional soccer teams together.
As to how year-old Minneapolis City wound up on the veteran’s radar, Kallman recalled, “I knew about them last year, when they were playing against the Minnesota United Reserves. Also, Ben Wexler, who was named [FiftyFive.One Minneapolis City] Player of the Year, I used to play in men’s leagues with him when I was younger, and I grew up playing with his older brother.”
“I saw they had an Open Cup game, and won. Dustin Branan, who was one of the assistant coaches for that game, was kind of my mentor my rookie season with the Thunder. I tweeted at him after the game, ‘Congrats, let me know if you’re looking for players in the next round.’ Something like that, semi-joking around. City followed me on twitter, and direct messaged me, ‘Hey, if you’re serious, we’d love to have you.'”
“I went out and played with [City] in a scrimmage, about a month-and-a-half ago against the University of Minnesota men’s team. It was fun, I’ve missed playing at a high level.”
Joining Kallman on City’s roster this coming season will be former teammate and Shoreview native Dan O’Brien, the pair having played together with the Thunder in 2008 and 2009.
“We played together for a couple years,” said Kallman, “and we were also roommates for a couple years. We’ve kept in touch, and he actually helped design the logo for my [soccer training] business. Hopefully I can play a bit of defensive mid, or center midfield where I can have the kind of connection with Danno that we’ve had in the past.”
“It’ll be fun to get back out and play with [O’Brien], and maybe with the kind of veteran guidance I can offer him, he can become a better player.”
Kallman, who possesses a USSF National B coaching license, as well as nine years of professional playing experience, should be a significant asset for City both on and off the field.
On what guidance he may be able to provide to the Crows’ younger players, Kallman offered, “I’ll be there to offer advice to anyone that wants it — that’s just the kind of person I am. I’ve always been a leader, but I’ll tread lightly. I’ll be the new guy on the team, and they have players who are already in those leadership roles. I’m not trying to step on anyone’s toes. But when I’m there, I’ll be the outgoing and hardworking player I’ve always been, and let my hard work and play speak for themselves.”
As to what he was most looking forward to in the coming season, Kallman’s thoughts were somewhat divided.
“It’d be cool to make a U.S. Open Cup run, maybe draw [Minnesota] United down the road. Also, getting back on the field, playing at a decent level, and to be able to bring my son to a game. When I was playing for United, he was still pretty young and he doesn’t remember it. When we go to a United game, he asks, ‘Is uncle Brent playing?’ Then, when I wear an old shirt or a jersey around the house, he asks, ‘You played for United?’ It’ll be kind of cool to see my three year-old watch me play a bit.”
The additions of Kallman and O’Brien bolster a roster that includes a number of players returning from City’s 2016 Premier League of America campaign. Namely, PLA West Division Best XI members Wexler (midfield) and Matt Elder (goal keeper), as well as center back Nate Engel, full backs Aaron Olson and Kevin Hoof, goal keeper Duncan Werling, midfielders A.J. Albers, Samuel Ruiz-Plaza and Ian Smith, and forward Will Kidd.
City has also used its Open Cup run to recruit the likes of midfielder Charlie Adams and winger Whitney Brown, who played with Minnesota United Reserves in 2016, and center back Joey Gustafson, who turned out for upcoming NPSL North rival Duluth FC in the American Premier League last season.