Pioneers began as many SGs do: a group of friends standing together at games. Each week a core group of us would try to bring as many people as we knew with us to NSC. Slowly, sometimes infuriatingly so, that core group started to expand. Because our aim was to load cars up with people and bring them to their first ever MNUFC game, we typically sat in the main stand at NSC. This meant you could usually find us standing at the top of the stands, moderately filled with Potter’s pasties and beer, yelling our asses off, and completely isolated from the rest of the SGs. We realized early on that our energy and enthusiasm spread to the people around us. That origin is really important to Pioneers: we strive to make our matchday experience so loud, so intense, and so much fun that it’s irresistible. We are very lucky to have excellent established SGs that do just that, and, now that we have found a small home in the Supporters’ Section, we try really hard to bridge the gap between those groups and the casual fan. Pioneers is only focused on one thing and that is Minnesota United. So, if you love the club and want to scream about it, you will fit right in.
Our group is named after the Pioneer Guard, a regiment of the 1st Minnesota Volunteers. The 1st Minnesota was mustered when President Lincoln called for volunteers for the Union Army at the outset of the Civil War. They are most famous for their actions at Gettysburg, where their costly charge into enemy lines allowed the main body of the Union forces to retreat unharmed. To us, the Pioneer Guard represents the fighting spirit of Minnesota: determination, integrity, tolerance, fellowship, and bravery at all costs. We have taken on the name Pioneers as a reminder that Minnesota has always been united against hatred and divisiveness.
We are a weird bunch. If there is one word that describes us all, it’s probably “fanatical.” We aim to be overwhelmingly, unbelievably, and unrealistically positive at all times.
We’re extremely lucky to call the O’Gara’s south bar home. You can find us there an hour or two before kickoff for away games, handing out merch and singing songs. O’Gara’s is an awesome establishment that is really excited to be part of the MNUFC community and we can’t thank them enough for putting up with our shenanigans. They have $3 Rising North on tap for games and Surly even sends a rep to party with us!
We meet at O’Gara’s before home games, typically about 90 minutes before kick off. We have time for a quick sing-song, a pregame drink, and then we jump on the shuttle that O’Gara’s provides to TCF. We’re usually pretty exhausted after home matches, but on the good days, you can find us celebrating a victory back at O’Gara’s or at Imperial Vapor.
Joining Pioneers is as easy as showing up. There are no membership fees or requirements. We are an outreach focused group, so we don’t even expect you to know the rules of soccer before joining us. The only thing you need to join Pioneers is a deep love for Minnesota United and a desire to yell and sing about it! The best way to get involved is to come find us at O’Gara’s or reach out on Twitter.
You can follow Pioneers on Twitter @PioneersUSC.
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