Matthew Eide: For the record, “We” are completely unofficial, and it is mostly just one person (me) working his butt off to gather MNUFC fans from under every rock on the East Coast.
I have been living on the East Coast since 2009, and have been following Minnesota soccer from this orbit since about 2011. I decided to get a bit more involved in fandom and created a name/group/twitter account called East Coast Dark Clouds in 2013. At the time, it was just me interacting with Minnesota soccer twitter, but over time, EC/DC has become the great unifier of all Minnesota fans on the East Coast and the de-facto connection about any MNUFC events on the East Coast. My young soccer supporter group life was made on the November 4, 2013 episode when I got a shout-out on the du Nord Futbol Show to all of Minnesota fandom. Granted, I asked Bruce and Wes to do it—but they really went above and beyond by acknowledging my existence.
Every time I travel to East Coast away matches, I am surprised by just how many Minnesotans live out here (especially in Washington, DC), so it is great to have something that can connect the diaspora and help create fun atmospheres for matches that, at times, might not be the easiest for Minnesotans to get to.
ME: Nothing too fancy, I decided to name myself East Coast Dark Clouds because I lived on the East Coast, and I desperately wanted to be noticed as the lone voice from 1,500 miles away. Plus, I tend to think my mentality fits in pretty well with the Jackass mentality of the Dark Clouds.
ME: (Minnesota Nice + jaded East Coast sensibility x Dark Clouds Jackass )
EC/DC is more of an idea than an actual group of people that meets up every matchday. We’re comprised of MNUFC fans spanning from New England to Florida. Most of the group consists of amazing people living in the Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC area, but more and more people contact me regularly from all reaches of the Coast to say hello and “join up”!
ME: We’re usually at those matches if they’re on the East Coast!
I’ve hosted a few watch parties here in DC at various bars if the matches are televised. If not, I usually just invite folks over to my house to watch and hang out with pals. If any Loons fans are visiting DC, I invite them to reach out while they’re here!
ME: I’ve been to one home match in MNUFC’s existence.
But I make it a point to set up a tailgate and make it known to all Minnesota fans that you are welcome to come and hang out and have a beer! I usually try to connect with a supporters group of the Away side to get a nice Drink-90-Drink event happening. It has been an absolute blast getting to know the wide spectrum of soccer fans in the U.S.
ME: Live on the East Coast, be a Minnesota United fan, and tell me they want to hang out! I’m working on some neat stickers to send to my “Members,” just to help boost the esprit de corps—but since we’re not official or anything, there are very lax membership requirements.
Thanks to Matthew Eide for answering the questionnaire! You can follow him on Twitter @ecdcmnufc.
FiftyFive.One is now on Patreon. Do you like the independent coverage of soccer news from Minnesota and beyond that FiftyFive.One offers? Please consider becoming a patron.