Who We Are

55.1 Contributors Wes Burdine Brian Quarstad Bill Stenross Joe Leyba Kyle Eliason Ben McKenzieFiftyFive.One is an online magazine that develops the best voices of soccer writing not just in Minnesota, but in the United States. Led by Wes Burdine, Dave Laidig, Brian Quarstad, and Bill Stenross, we are a collection of experienced writers who have published books, podcasts, articles, gameday zines, and blogs about soccer.

Wes Burdine, PhD - Co-owner – Managing Editor -Writer

WES BURDINE earned his PhD in English Literature from the University of Minnesota. He is also the publisher at Byline Press. His work has been published in as diverse media as ESQ: Journal of the American Renaissance, Howler Magazine, Minneapolis City Pages, and the Lancaster Intelligencer Newspaper. A native of Pennsylvania, his first Minnesota game was a friendly against the PDL team, the Rochester Thunder in 2010. Despite the game being quite tedious, it was love at first heckle.

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Brian Quarstad - Co-owner – Feature Editor – Writer

BRIAN QUARSTAD is a long-time follower, coach, and writer of the beautiful game. His lifetime passion has been to grow the sport in both the US and specifically, the state of Minnesota. He has written news and feature pieces for numerous publications including Minnesota Public Radio, US Soccer, and the Minnesota State High School League. His former website, Inside Minnesota Soccer, was named one of top ten websites by US Soccer in 2010.

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Dave Laidig - Co-owner – Writer

DAVE LAIDIG has been writing about soccer analytics and the business of soccer for several years in multiple forums. A self-described soccer evangelist, his first soccer match was watching Brazil in the 1984 Olympics. But it wasn’t until he attended a Minnesota Thunder match that losing his voice became a standard soccer consequence. He has a graduate degree in psychology, and currently works as a corporate attorney in the Twin Cities.

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Kyle Eliason - NPSL Editor – Writer

KYLE ELIASON is a former writer and editor for the late independent Minnesota Twins program GameDay. He has also written for the Minnesota Twins, NCAA, NPSL , and Top Drawer Soccer. A Minnesota United season-ticket holder, Eliason began writing about soccer in 2015 for Northern Pitch. Among other duties, he serves as FiftyFive.One’s NPSL editor, and beat writer for Minneapolis City SC.

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Alex Schieferdecker - Writer

Alex Schieferdecker is a New Yorker who went to school in Minnesota and got hooked on Minnesota United FC. He now lives in Philadelphia, where he's studying city planning at the University of Pennsylvania.

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Kate Sophia - Copy Editor/Writer

KATE SOPHIA was the star keeper in her fourth grade recess league and the first girl to be selected as keeper in after school soccer. She retired from play and became a casual fan until the 2014 United playoff game against the Strikers, when her appetite for local soccer became insatiable. She is also known for her undying loyalty to the Oxford comma.

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Teresa Petersen - Copy Editor

TERESA PETERSEN fell in love with soccer with World Cup '98. It took over her life completely when she returned to Minnesota in 2007 and joined the Dark Clouds. She has edited for Inside Minnesota Soccer and The Complete Darkness, among other things.

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Kyle Nelson - Writer

Kyle Nelson began writing about soccer as a contributor for Inside Minnesota Soccer. Some of his earliest soccer memories include walking to Macalester College with his Dad to watch the Minnesota Thunder. Beside writing feature articles, Kyle writes Minnesota Migration, a weekly recap of Minnesotans playing in various pro leagues.

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Ben Mackenzie - Writer

BEN MACKENZIE became a soccer fan on dusty, patchy parks of Montana and the rare pages of Sports Illustrated. Without a lot of club matches to watch (locally or on television), he became a frequent follower of games on dustier, patchier parks around the world. He squeezes in writing about international soccer when he’s not grading student essays.

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Chris RB - Writer

CHRIS RB has been a soccer fan for years; he picked it up while traveling through Italy in college. He started his own site In Loons We Trust before joining forces with Bill Stenross and Alex Schieferdecker to form The Loon Call. He also writes for Hockey Wilderness about the Minnesota Wild. In real life, Chris is a band director and music teacher.

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Nachiket Karnik Profile Photo

Nachiket Karnik - Writer/Podcast Producer

Born in Mumbai, India, Nach (pronounced like in "Nachos") has spent over a decade in the Midwestern US. Nach's obsession with soccer began with grainy broadcasts of Italia '90 and took its truest form in 2013 when he stepped into the stands with the Dark Clouds. Today he bellows into a megaphone at MNUFC games and volunteers with the Dark Clouds. Nachiket also co-founded 'Two United Fans' which produces a weekly audio podcast and video content focused on the NASL.

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Jeremy Olson - Photographer

JEREMY OLSON has been taking photos of professional soccer in Minnesota since the 2008 Minnesota Thunder season. In addition to soccer in Minnesota, he has covered US national team games and various other matches. You can find his collection of images at http://www.DigitalGopher.com

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Daniel Mick - Photographer

DANIEL MICK is a photographer born and raised in St. Paul, Mn. Starting his photographing professionally in early 2016. Has covered Minneapolis City SC, Minnesota United, Gopher Hockey, and St. Paul Parks & Rec. Galleries available at: www.DanielMickCreative.com

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Doug Marshak - Writer

Minnesota State Director of Referee Instruction. Soccer referee for 19 years. State Director of Referee Instruction for Minnesota. Minnesota United fan. Tottenham Hostpur fan. Borussia Dortmund fan. Generally hopeless taste in teams, obviously, making it easier to be a referee.

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Jon Marthaler - Senior Writer

JON MARTHALER is the soccer columnist for the Star Tribune, and has covered virtually every sport in the Twin Cities for one publication or another. There is nothing in soccer that does not interest him at least a little bit, and if you have any good sites for Nigerian second division coverage or Asian Champions League blogs, let him know.

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Adam Jarvi - Writer

ADAM JARVI is a licensed architect and senior associate at NewStudio Architecture, a Twin Cities-based firm with projects in 34 states and 5 Canadian provinces. He also teaches undergraduate design fundamentals at the University of Minnesota's College of Design, where he serves as Chair of the Adjunct Faculty Leadership Committee. Adam is a resident of Union Park in Saint Paul, a Minnesota United FC season ticket holder, and can usually be found on game days standing with the Dark Clouds.

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Matt Privratsky - Writer

MATT PRIVRATSKY grew up driving two to three hours to play low level soccer games across northern Minnesota. When he's not writing features and filling in on the Gopher beat for FiftyFive.One, he works full time on communications and government affairs for Fresh Energy, an energy policy nonprofit in St Paul.

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Matthew De Witt - Writer

Matthew joined FiftyFive.One shortly before the rebrand from Northern Pitch. His writing often revolves around the Des Moines Menace's PDL, WPSL, and occasionally U.S. National Teams. He and his wife live just outside of Des Moines, Iowa, where he also works as a Sports Editor for the Boone News-Republican.

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Mike Pendleton - Graphic Designer

MIKE PENDLETON is a business strategy consultant and designer by day. He never kicked a soccer ball as a child, but fell in love with the sport later in life. A native of New England, he grew up a Boston Red Sox fan and became at peace with big club discouragement, misery and suffering. He currently enjoys those same qualities as a supporter of the Tampa Bay Rowdies and Liverpool FC. Mike now calls St. Petersburg, FL home where he is a Rowdies season ticket holder and Ralph’s Mob board member. He makes pictures.

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