Hello Non League America Readers!
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is John Pannebaker, and I run a soccer blog called American Pyramid. I interview owners of teams in the lower levels of the American Soccer Pyramid, and am going to be providing Non League America with extra content to help put more eyeballs on what takes place at the bottom of the soccer universe.
To give you a little bit of background on this interview, which I did in October 2015. I first encountered Tim Singleton through sheer accident. As an active member of BigSoccer Forum under the pseudonym ‘SportingReal,’ I heard about a man trying to start a team in Fargo and getting pretty badly reamed online. I reached out to him, originally offering to help him with some web design.
While that didn’t work out long term, we’ve kept in touch off and on ever since, and he graciously agreed to be my first interview I ever did at American Pyramid. Enjoy!
American Pyramid: Tell me a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you’re from, what your role is with the team.
Tim Singleton: I own the team. I am from the twin cities, was an exchange student to Germany when I was 16 and became a huge Bayern Munich fan. I have been into soccer ever since.
When did you first get interested in soccer in general and owning a soccer team in particular?
I decided I wanted to work in soccer about five years ago. I worked for the Minnesota Stars (now United) for one season and didn’t get hired back. I wanted to still work in the industry so I started my own team.
Fargo really seems like an unlikely city for a soccer team. What attracted you to Fargo?
The two minor league teams there do really well. That and they have great youth soccer, and indoor men’s soccer leagues.
How does the local community seem to be responding to the idea of a soccer team in town?
We mainly get die hard fans. I would like to get more causal fans to give us a shot in general.
Tell me a little bit about the league you’re joining. What kind of advantages does it have over other leagues that you looked at? What drew you to joining them? Do they a long term vision for their league and your teams role in that future?
We are joining a NCAA-compliant league next year, because that is where most of our players come from. We hope at some point we can join a higher league and make that team our U-23’s. I know the commissioner and I trust his vision.
How excited are you at the prospect of trying to qualify for the US Open Cup? I’m pretty sure it would make FC Fargo the first team from North Dakota to play in the Cup.
We are! That is a huge goal of the team to play in the cup in 2017. We will be looking to form a cup for ND teams, and maybe use that vessel to earn a birth to the tournament.
Is there anything you’re really hoping to accomplish in your first year in a league next season? Or I guess you could say, what needs to happen for the first season to be considered a success?
We had our first year last year. I think we did pretty good. We have a solid base of 150 fans that have been very good to us. Only looking to get better.
Why should the average fan care about a team in Fargo?
I think for the same reason any fan cares about their local team. City pride. We think we are the best team in North Dakota.
Cast a vision for me: Where do you see FC Fargo in 5 years?
In a competitive Professional league, with a U-23 team, along with our own stadium.
I’ve got some Bonus Questions for you now: Who’s your pick to win the MLS Cup this year?
I always love the Timbers (I’m a homer)
What’s your favorite book, regardless of genre?
My favorite book is “The Long Walk.”
Who’s your favorite current soccer player?
My favorite player right now is Tim Howard.
Where can people find out more about yourself and the team?
www.fcfargo.com and on our opinion podcast page. Feel free to check the team out on Facebook as well, and give them a like to do your part and help spread the word that soccer is here to stay in North Dakota! https://www.facebook.com/fcfargo?fref=ts&ref=br_tf_
Thanks again for reading American Pyramid folks. As always, give us a ‘Follow‘ or a ‘Like‘ on Twitter and Facebook, or, to humor me, do both. If you’d be interested in signing up for Newsletter, please message us via Facebook or Twitter with your email and I’ll get you added to the list. This will give you access to links to interesting articles, podcast episode and book recommendations that won’t be limited to just soccer. Keep an eye out on this space for more interviews and op-eds, along with updates on other projects I’ll be working on in the near future.
Until next time, Stay Loyal, Support Local.