Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Minnesota Thunder, Ex-Rapid Tarley Returns

The Minnesota have, as far as soccer in America goes, been around for quite awhile. They're proud of their history having started out in 1994 in the USISL. As they grew they moved up into what is now known as USL-1 (ex- A-league; US division 2). But the last couple of years they've struggled.

Local owners bought the team 3 years ago and cut back on player wages. The team lost too many games and played most of their home games in a high school football stadium, James Griffin (St. Paul Central HS), with artificial turf and football lines. New owners, a Belguim company Wingfield, bought the team and pledged to invest $2 million in it for higher player wages and other improvements.

The investment has payed off with the Minnesota Thunder having their best start in years. They're 3-1 including wins over traditionally strong Vancouver, Montreal and Rochester. The Thunder still have ex-player and St. Paul Academy grad Amos Magee at the helm as their head coach. They have brought in some new talent, among them ex-Colorado Rapids player Luchi Gonzalez (spent last year with Miami FC) and ex-rapids, Ex-Real Salt Lake striker Melving Tarley (spent last year with Puerto Rico).

Duncan "Melvin" Tarley made his name, so to speak, a couple years ago with the Minnesota Thunder. They had had a nice run in the US Open Cup that included Tarley scoring a lot of goals. In fact, he scored four against the Colorado Rapids. But he didn't catch on in the MLS. First Real Salt Lake gave him a try. IIRC his only goal in 9 games was against DC United. Tarley started the next season again with the Thunder. Later in the year the Rapids gave him a try again and again with little MLS success. Tarley join ex-Dallas coach Colin Clarke at Puerto Rico last year. This year with more money on the table the Minnesota Thunder we able to bring him back. He just returned and hasn't played much. Watch for Magee to use him both as a midfielder and forward.

3 comments:

uhclem said...

Fine post on a fine franchise. However, I have one small correction. The Thunder's first season was in 1990 as an unaffiliated amatuer club. They remained so for three more seasons until '94, when they joined the USISL.

Scott Kerssen said...

Fine post on a fine franchise. However, I have one small correction. The Thunder's first season was in 1990 as an unaffiliated amatuer club. They remained so for three more seasons until '94, when they joined the USISL.

Anonymous said...

A fime post on a fine franchise. However, you have one mistake in it. The Minnesota Thunder played their first season in 1990 as an unaffiliated amateur club. They remained so through the 1993 season. They joined the USISL in 1994.