Minnesota United supporters show support for Ukraine with halftime banner

Minnesota United tied Nashville S.C. 1-1 in a rain-soaked home opener Saturday, but supporters took a moment at halftime to address events half a world away, marking the occasion with a large blue and yellow tifo banner that had a simple but urgent message: "United with Ukraine."

"Last week, when everything started happening in Ukraine, we decided we need to show that we needed to show strong support in solidarity with the people of Ukraine," said Andrew Beck with the Wonderwall, an umbrella organization of Minnesota United supporter groups, which made the 10-foot by 40-foot banner.

Tifos are typically held up by supporters before games or at halftime and a well-established soccer tradition. The Wonderwall also put up a pre-game 30 foot by 40-foot tifo that referenced a song by Minnesota pop icon Lizzo. About 15 volunteers worked on both banners, spending a total of 100 hours, Beck said.

Tifos often address social causes. Minnesota United fans also put a "Black Lives Matter" banner in July 2020, following the murder of George Floyd that May.

"We can’t separate what happens outside the stadium from what happens inside, and we have a long history of supporting organizations and causes, especially across our community, but across the world as well," Beck said. "We felt we needed to make it clear where we stood and how we felt about it here locally and add our support to the people of Ukraine."