Minnesota United announced that Allina Health will become MNUFC’s Official Healthcare Provider. This expanded partnership allows the two organizations to have a greater impact on their shared commitment to serving our community.
Manny Lagos, MNUFC Chief Soccer Officer, and Robby Bershow, MD, Allina Health Sports Medicine Physician and MNUFC Chief Medical Officer, will be available for interviews at Allianz Field between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. today.
“We have been extraordinarily fortunate to have partnered with Allina Health since our debut MLS season in 2017. Not only have they provided excellent medical care to our players, but we continue to be impressed and inspired by the depth of their commitment to our community,” said Minnesota United CEO Shari Ballard. “Having Allina Health as a partner makes our club better and allows us to further deepen our impact in the community in many areas. One example that has touched us deeply is our Power Soccer Team. We are so proud to be associated with the incredible athletes on the team and with all the amazing team members across the Allina Health organization. We look forward to continuing our collaboration and having an even greater impact on the communities we serve.”
As Official Healthcare Provider to Minnesota United, Allina Health will represent the club in the following areas:
- Official team doctors of Minnesota United
- Presenting Partner of MNUFC Power Soccer
- Presenting partner of the annual blood drive at Allianz Field
- SAVE THE DATE: March 21 at Allianz Field, from 10:00am – 4:00pm CT.
- Fans can register here.
- Presenting Partners of the MNUFC Academy
- Presenting partner of the Sound of the Loons podcast
- The Official Jersey Front Partner for MNUFC2
- Allina Health Gate at the SE entrance of Allianz Field
“I feel fortunate to be part of two great teams — Allina Health and Minnesota United — and I’m grateful that these two community-focused organizations are strengthening their partnership,” said Robby Bershow, MD, Allina Health’s exercise medicine physician and chief medical officer of MNUFC. “Through world-class mentoring for MNUFC players, youth football opportunities, blood drives, the Power Soccer team, podcasts and more, this partnership allows us to work together to be better for the players, fans, patients and communities we serve.”
Minnesota United signed athletes with the existing Allina Health Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute power soccer team in the fall of 2022. The Courage Kenny Blizzards became “MNUFC Power Soccer” and started the club’s first power soccer team and only the third power soccer team in MLS. Power Soccer is the first competitive team sport designed and developed specifically for power wheelchair users. Disabilities of power soccer athletes include quadriplegia, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy, among others. Athletes do not have to be everyday wheelchair users to do the sport of power soccer. The game is usually played in a gymnasium on a regular basketball court. Two teams of four players attack, defend and kick a 13” soccer ball with spin kicks in a skillful and challenging game similar to soccer for the able-bodied.
The team will continue to compete in the US Power Soccer Association (USPSA) under the Minnesota United name. MNUFC Power Soccer trains at the Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute in Golden Valley, Minnesota, under the direction of coach Katie Kensy and volunteer coaches Tom Gordon, Brian Monson and Piper Murray.
Blood drive at Allianz Field:
MNUFC will continue to host annual blood drives at Allianz Field presented by Allina Health.
This year’s blood drive will be held on March 21 at Allianz Field from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm CT. Fans can register here.
The Club and Allina Health first collaborated on this initiative in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, hosting four blood drives that year, resulting in more than 300 units of blood donated and nearly 1,000 lives saved.
Beginning in 2023, Allina will be Health Presenting Partner and Jersey Front Partner of MNUFC Academy. With teams at Under-15, Under-17 and Under-19 level, MNUFC Academy is the first step in Minnesota United’s Pro Player Pathway – a path for players to progress from youth football to Academy, MNUFC2 and First Team. As part of the partnership, Allina Health will offer curriculum and support sessions to Academy teams through Allina Health’s Change to Chill program – mindfulness and stress reduction resources for teens.
“We are excited to expand our partnership with Allina Health,” said Amos Magee, MNUFC vice president of youth development. “The willingness they have to work with us on health and wellbeing – from our academy and youth football pitches to the club’s second team and our first team – we know Allina Health will continue to work with us to… they provide all of our football players with the best way forward to compete on and off the field day in and day out.”
Allina Health Volunteer Scoreboard Keeper:
Continuing the longstanding Allianz Field tradition of select fans changing the scorecards on the north end of the stadium at MNUFC home games, the club and Allina Health will continue to honor an Allina Health employee or team member with this honor. The honorary scoreboard keeper is recognized during each game with a live appearance at the stadium on the video board as well as a PA reading at the stadium. Deandra Bardell, captain of the MNUFC Power Soccer team, will be the honorary scoreboard keeper for the Loons’ home opener on March 11.
Allina Health will continue to support the Sound of the Loons podcast as a presenting partner. Fans can expect to hear a doctor or psychiatrist from Allina Health as a podcast guest each season.
In further support of the Pro Player Pathway, Allina Health Jersey will be a Front Partner of MNUFC2, Minnesota United’s MLS NEXT Pro Team.
The SE entrance at Allianz Field will now be the Allina Health Gate. Additional signage will be visible throughout the stadium.
Professional football has been a part of Minnesota for over four decades, and Minnesota United is at the forefront of growing the game at every level. From the first team, to the front office, to the development academy and our work in the sister cities, the goal of the club remains the same: to promote football, the game of the world, and thereby inspire and unite our community. We will achieve this through a culture based on accountability, respect, excellence and honesty, and by creating an unparalleled fan experience and connection to the community. In 2023, MNUFC returns to the pitch for its seventh season in MLS. Follow Minnesota United social channels and visit our website at mnufc.com for regular club updates.
Allina Health is dedicated to preventing and treating disease and improving the health of individuals, families and communities throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin. As a not-for-profit healthcare system, Allina Health provides care through its 90+ clinics, 12 hospital campuses, 15 retail pharmacies, and many specialty care centers and specialty medical services, home care, and emergency medical transportation services.