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Reports: United could enter MLS a year early – but under what name?

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Major League Soccer wants the Minnesota United FC to debut in the league in 2017, a year earlier than originally planned, according to reports from Northern Pitch and Sports Illustrated.

Minnesota was granted an MLS team in March 2015 and it spent a good part of the rest of the year finalizing a stadium deal, with the City of St. Paul now pushing forward with a development at Snelling-Midway.

The 20,000-seat stadium won't be ready until 2018, so a debut in MLS a year earlier would mean the soccer club needs to find a temporary home.

The possibilities: Target Field and TCF Bank Stadium, with the latter being the more likely of the two, according to the Pioneer Press.

U of M Associated Athletic Communications Director Paul Rovnak told the newspaper "the United has approached us and we are discussing possibilities."

MLS to force a name change?

Sports Illustrated adds that the United will likely require a name change before joining MLS. The use of "United" is already owned by D.C. United and fellow expansion team Atlanta United.

Northern Pitch was first to report MLS discussing the option of United changing its name. The logo and team colors, however, would remain intact.

"United" was unveiled in Minnesota's team name in 2013 while Atlanta picked the nickname late last year. However, Atlanta was granted an expansion team about a year before Minnesota.

Needless to say, Northern Pitch isn't too impressed with Atlanta laying claim to "United" over Minnesota, you can read what the fan site had to say here.

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