The Angle

Supporter’s Group Roll Call: Dark Clouds

by on 28 March 2018

Minnesota United is blessed with a plethora of fantastic fans. Due to there being so many fantastic Supporter’s Groups, the SG Roll Call series continues. If you have not heard from me, and want to have your group profiled, please direct message me on Twitter @kolson716. Today we will be covering Dark Clouds.

FiftyFive.One: How did your group get started?

Mike Brandes: The Dark Clouds have been supporting professional soccer in Minnesota since 2004. A small (very small) group of like-minded soccer fans started to stand together at Minnesota Thunder games. They’d tailgate together, relentlessly heckle the opposition, chant in unison and then heckle some more. Bruce McGuire, the godfather duNord, wanted to make something for his soccer friends to wear when they stood together so he had his artist friend Davin Brainard alter a simple illustration for a cloud as the group’ logo. Bruce says “I asked him if he could make a version of it with a gray background and a black cloud. I took his artwork, made some buttons and started handing them out. Soon after that, I turned up at a game and someone had made a flag out of the image!”

That was the genesis, from there it has taken off. The group has followed, and will follow, professional soccer in Minnesota, “By any name … in any league … Dark Clouds FOLLOW”

What is the story behind your name?

MB: In 2004 when the Dark Clouds began, following the Minnesota Thunder, the name was born out of the fact that you can’t have Thunder without Dark Clouds.

How would you describe your group?

MB: The Dark Clouds are the largest and oldest supporters group for professional soccer in Minnesota. We’re passionate on match day, subscribing to the theory that “Louder is Gooder” which was so eloquently coined by our current president Abe Opoti prior to the start of the 2017 season.

Matchday is just one aspect of the Dark Clouds, as we’re equally passionate about the work we do off the field and in the community. We have a service organization component called Silver Lining, “Every Dark Cloud has a Silver Lining.” This group is committed to performing service work in and around our community, and facilitating charitable giving through our Dark Cloud Charity Card Club program, which is a neat, fun way to share our Silver Lining.

Where do you watch away games?

MB: We have so many amazing partners, who take such good care of us, we rotate our watch parties at various partner sites. We’ll always have a main watch party where we gather, but we’re working on expanding our partnerships around the metro to provide Dark Clouds that aren’t located in Minneapolis or St. Paul to gather together, enjoy a drink special and watch MNUFC. The best way to know what we’re doing at any given time is to monitor our website, Twitter or sign up for our newsletter.

What are your pre/post game activities?

MB: Similar to our watch party strategy we’ll be rotating these throughout our partners. For pre-game activities we’re hoping to have one for every game in both Minneapolis and St. Paul, where our group can gather, enjoy drink specials, buy merch, hang out, and have a good time. The best way to know what we’re doing at any given time is to monitor our website, Twitter or sign up for our newsletter.

How does someone join?

MB: The best way to join is to get a season ticket in the supporters section. That’s where the party is, that’s where the magic happens. Outside of that, we have memberships for sale on our website, which comes with a Card of Wonder, which entitles cardholders to discounts at all of our partners, and a membership scarf, which is killer.

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