James A. Norungolo: Five friends formed True North Elite in 2015, seeking to build an alternative group for Minnesota United supporters. We aimed to create something that was more true to what we viewed as traditional around the world: rowdier, occasionally profane. When you see hundreds of Basel Supporters marching up a street in Manchester this week to back their Club, that’s the ethos. The founding members of TNE completely appreciated the history and work of the Dark Clouds, but they personally wanted something that looked and sounded like international Ultra support, while standing firmly against violence, racism, and sexism.
JN: True is a word that signifies our commitment to our Club and our values. Living in one of the coldest states in the Continental U.S. is a point of pride. Representing the “cold and frozen North” projects our strength and our love for all the things that make our culture unique. Elite conveys how we want to conduct ourselves as Supporters – the most intense, the loudest, 100% committed.
JN: We think of ourselves as Family. Our members come from many backgrounds, and we strive to be welcoming to anyone that shares our passion for the Club. Passion is key. So is understanding that our mission statement extends beyond bringing the noise on matchday. It’s about being good citizens in the community and treating every individual with dignity.
We are proud of our outreach arm, Keepers of The North, which has averaged at least one volunteer/fundraising activity a month, focusing mostly on the communities around the Midway site of Allianz Field.
JN: Most of our away day watch parties are at Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery. This year we are seeking to partner with Dark Clouds and other SGs for some joint watch parties, and those are going to be at a variety of taprooms in the Twin Cities.
JN: Town Hall takes great care of us. Once again this season, pre-match festivities will begin there before we march on to the nearby Green Line stop, and from there to the green outside of McNamara, where we gather before the March to the Match.
Many of us end up back at Town Hall after matches as well.
JN: It’s really as simple as coming over to our section and getting rowdy with us. Led by our Board, our members are really good about introducing themselves to new people. We generally have our Merch Table set up at Town Hall before matches, and anyone running the table can introduce you to a Board Member who will tell you more about TNE. You can also send an email to Join@TrueNorthElite.com if you want more information.
Special thanks to James A. Norungolo for answering the questionnaire. You can follow True North Elite on Twitter @TrueNorthElite.
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