United No More? MLS trademarks “Minnesota FC,” “MNFC”

Minnesota FC


It looks like Arthur Blank won.

Following a report from Sports Illustrated detailing the tug-of-war between Atlanta and Minnesota over the “United” moniker, a MLS trademark filing uncovered by EoS seems to show Atlanta has won that debate.

MLS filed a trademark for MNFC and Minnesota FC on February 18th, 2016; just one day after the original SI report was published.

As reported by Brian Straus, Minnesota and Atlanta are in line to make their MLS debuts for 2017. That presents the odd conflict of having two teams enter the league at the same time, with the same name. Unnamed sources told SI the team’s identical moniker would be an issue for the league, forcing both sides to jockey for possession of the United name.

While Minnesota United has established their brand since 2013 through the North American Soccer League, Atlanta gained entry into MLS first, giving each strong grounds for their stake in “United.” As reported, MLS was already close to backing Atlanta in their quest to keep the United brand — and it looks like they have already done so. In fact, the original SI report makes mention of “Minnesota FC” by name as a possible alternative to Bill McGuire’s club.

Minnesota United FC issued no comment. EoS also reached out to MLS, but did not receive comment by the time of this report.





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  • Larry\’s A Simpleton

    good move by minnesota to separate themselves from the independent division 3 league. no need to have that nasl stank on the team when they enter division 1.

    • smurf040

      yeah, great move! it goes to show you! Minnesota United has been a class act organization and one of the best run NASL clubs since joining the league , along with a fantastic fan base. but you sell your soul to the devil Ahem,, Mr Garber, and now he’s collecting!! it goes to show where he loyalty lies!! $$$$$$!!!!!

      • Larry\’s A Simpleton

        best run in nasl? just like the f.cosmos they couldnt pay their bills and had to be propped up by the nasl for years. the new owner took over and realized he aint making money in division 3 and bolted for division 1 mls asap.

        • Tommi

          @Larry\’s A Simpleton – Division 3 is the USL farm team affiliate league, NASL is D2 and soon to be D1 along with Mls.

      • Gazza

        His loyalty lies in $? Minnesota paid more in expansion fees than Atlanta. So not quite.

    • Larry\’s Momma

      Please finish your twinkies and be sure to catch the bus for your therapy session.
      You know momma doesn’t like it when you spend too much time online.

    • Guy Fieri

      Wait, Idk which side you are trolling for, you sound like you dislike MLS and are praising MLS through a sarcastic comment. :-/ Larry\ you are a terrible troll and should feel bad. I wanna be trolled so hard that my chevy camaro breaks down outside my local dive.

  • Renzo


    Minnesota fans gotta feel duped, but really they had no choice but to go MLS. If they hadn’t they woulda gotten steamrolled by Vikings FC. (Pay attention, Gianni)

    MLS doesn’t seem to understand football culture and the little things that make people support their local side.

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  • Pele

    There will be 3 teams in MLS by the name of United, and Minnesota just didn’t make the cut.
    Don’t get me wrong, Minnesota makes sense due to the twin cities aspect but what if MLS is saving it for a third New York team or when red bull gets sold.
    If you ask me, New York United is to good to let go and red bull sooner or later will get rebrand or sold.
    As for Atlanta, they kinda make sense but garber and Arthur are buddies.

    • Larry\’s A Simpleton

      its a guarnatee the f.cosmos wont be a part f it. garber did his due dillgence when he told stover and obrien to get lost.

      #f.cosmoscheatlittleleague out of money

  • Hrvat

    That you Larry for your insight about soccer. Somehow the holy book of MLS is your religion. Supporting all teams can in no way help the development of players in this country for a national team. But then again it’s not like the MLS cares about that.

    • Larry\’s A Simpleton

      right because we’re all so awed what those independent teams of the nasl have done for the game in this country. pull your head out of the sand amigo. mls rules!

      • Hrvat

        I never mentioned anything about any league. I wish for the USL and other teams to have a chance to grow and compete. You seem to be so angry

  • James

    I don’t understand why MLS continues to insist on just being the absolute worst

    • Larry\’s A Simpleton

      mls is the best. leagues that allow indepedent teams to join halfway through the season are the worst. like the nasl

      • What Larry Really Means

        I have a 12 inch long steely dan I use. I named it “Don.”

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  • OpenCupFan


  • HydraHamster

    As a long time supporter of Minnesota United, I hate to see them neutered like that by MLS. What type of league spits on the club and it’s fan base? I shouldn’t be shocked because MLS always had the lack of understanding the American soccer fan base to begin with. Morons.

  • Kevin

    Larry do u actually believe everything you make up..you have no clue about Minnesota and how they were in the NASL. The league didn’t prop them up at all. You can’t stop yourself from just making up stuff on every topic on EOS

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  • MTF

    God help us. Another U.S. based soccer team that has to call itself “Football Club.” Be proud of being American. It’s OK to say soccer here…even if the English have run away from the nickname they created. They should be true to their history and if they’re going to drop ‘United’ they should call themselves the Minnesota Loons (Soccer Club).

  • slowleftarm

    MLS just cherry picking the few desirable NASL markets. And of course teams jump at the chance to move up to the big leagues – games are on TV, fans are in the stands, and no trips to a college lacrosse stadium!

    • Tommi

      Not all MLS games are on TV but with the league being 20 years compared to NASL’s 5 years you’de expect them to be ahead with TV coverage.

      NASL’s done well with their clubs having local TV deals, a National TV deal with OWS, and internationally all their matches on ESPN3 – at 5yrs old that’s pretty good for the other Major league in North America, NASL.

      As for stadiums, watched some MLS games last year in NFL stadiums with football lines on the field in Seattle, Washington, and New England, was much poorer optics wise than the New York Cosmos largly blacked out lacrosse lines which are much less intrusive.

    • The Don

      You are a good and loyal servant. You will be rewarded in the everlasting nirvana that is MLS headquarters. There we decide what to order for lunch by holding a daily weighted discovery TAM allocation Super draft. Yesterday I had pastrami. The day before I had liverwurst with raw onions on a toasted onion roll. It was delicious.

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