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Soccer fans start petition over possible Minnesota United name change

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Some Minnesota United fans don't want to become Minnesota something-else fans.

A concerned soccer fan started a petition addressed to Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Gerber, imploring him to let Minnesota United keep its moniker when they join the league.

This comes from a Northern Pitch report, picked up by Sports Illustrated this week, which says MLS may require the Minnesota team to change its name because "United" is already used by the D.C. United, and was recently chosen to be the name of Minnesota's fellow expansion franchise Atlanta United.

The petition was started by a Jacob Peters – who is actually a Chicago Fire fan – and asks MLS to let Minnesota keep "United," or make Atlanta change its name too.

He makes the argument that the Twin Cities has a very good case to make as a uniting force. There is "nothing 'united' about Atlanta's story," he writes.

"D.C. United is appropriately named as it is uniting fan support from Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia around one soccer team," the petition says. "Minnesota United FC is likewise uniting fan support from both of the Twin Cities around a single soccer team. Atlanta on the other hand is a single metro area, with a single center city, in a single state, and their team is replacing an existing soccer club from the North American Soccer League."

The petition has 334 supporters as of about noon Thursday, some identifying as fans of Minnesota, other saying they support other teams but agree with the petition's point – the goal is to get 500.

Also Wednesday, there were murmurs that the United (Minnesota, not one of the other United teams) could join the MLS in 2017 – a year earlier than originally planned. They'd need to figure out where to play though.

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