ST. PAUL, Minn - The Minnesota United fell to the Portland Timbers 5-1 on Friday, but it didn’t stop enthusiastic fans from packing the Town Hall Brewery to help usher in the club’s Major League Soccer debut.

There was standing-room-only crowd by 7:30pm, though play didn’t begin until 9:00pm.

“I think I got here around 5:30pm,” said Kaila Akina “We figured it would be pretty full here so we wanted to get a good seat.”

For some, Minnesota’s MLS debut is something they’ve anticipated for a very long time for.

“My whole life,” said United fan Ethan Neal. “I’ve been in futbol in Minnesota my whole life. I’ve been waiting for us to go pro. This is like a culmination since I was like six years old.”

Mykel Hosek is a member of True North Elite, one of a few quickly growing Minnesota United supporters groups.

“It’s grown pretty fast,” Hosek said. “We started with nine (people) in 2015 and now we’re well over 100, 150, so we’re growing and growing.”

“We’re new fans, so we’re hoping to get up to that level,” Akina said.

On this historic night, every new fan was welcome.

“It’s going to rise a new generation of Minnesota youth that can expect to go professional, that have that dream,” Neal said.