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More than 5,000 fans support new women’s soccer club in inaugural match

Aurora benefited from a Green Bay Glory own goal early in the second half and Green Bay earned an equalizing goal in the 89th minute for a 1-1 draw.

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Minnesota Aurora president Andrea Yoch stood at the gates of TCO Stadium and watched fans of the new pre-professional women’s soccer team stream in for their inaugural match about an hour before kickoff Thursday.

“We just made this up,” Yoch said through a smile and in an orange romper and mint green coat to match Aurora’s vibrant colors.

About 15 minutes before kickoff, Gene Wilder’s “Pure Imagination” played on the stadium’s speakers, and a community-owned club created out of the pandemic by nine local “founders” came to fruition with an announced crowd of 5,219 supporting the upstart USL Women’s League.

Thursday’s attendance in Minnesota was on par with the average of half of 12 clubs in the pro-level National Women’s Soccer League crowds so far this season, including in Louisville, Seattle, San Diego, North Carolina, Orlando, Chicago and New Jersey.

Aurora benefited from a Green Bay Glory own goal early in the second half and Green Bay earned an equalizing goal in the 89th minute for a 1-1 draw.

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Aurora, which has 3,400 season ticket holders, also took up another Minnesota soccer tradition: waiving scarves during corner kicks, a mainstay at Minnesota United games for years.

The crowd, which included MNUFC center back Michael Boxall and Minnesota Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve and former player Rebekkah Brunson, filled the stands at the Vikings’ field and lined the concourses, with the merchandise tent having lines for all 90 minutes.

Aurora’s supporters section chanted “No Glory” toward Green Bay and supported its own side in song. But there was also a small chorus of young girls chanting, “Let’s go, Aurora. Let’s go!” from the stadium’s grassy hill. On the concourse, another group of young girls were running around, and one was overheard saying, “Sarah is my favorite.”

That was toward Aurora’s famous goalkeeper Sarah Fuller, on a day with signs of support big and small.

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