Photo: Kelly Kamish/Kix Photography


Andrea Yoch '89

The president and co-founder of a new women's minor league soccer team on its origin story. 

Andrea Yoch ’89, the first female Heights sports editor, is a former marketing executive with the Minnesota United men’s soccer team. She’s now the president and a cofounder of the Minnesota Aurora, a new minor-league women’s soccer team that’s community-owned.

One of our founders was getting frustrated that there was no chatter in our market about a women’s team starting. He thought that maybe instead of waiting for somebody else, we should figure out a way to do it ourselves, so he sent a message to a group of people who he knew were passionate about soccer. It was during the pandemic, so we met outside in a park six feet apart with our masks on. Out of that came a small group of nine founders.

Most leagues want somebody to write a big check—one person, a single owner. And none of us were able to do that. The United Soccer League was open to our community-ownership model and awarded us a franchise in 2021. We have 3,080 owners from forty-eight states and eight countries. Part of why we were so successful was because we were the first independent women’s team in the country to do this, and we are at this moment in time where everybody is finally understanding how women havebeen treated in sports and in the workplace. People want to do something about inequality. We came along and said, This is something you can do. Do you want to help women in sports? Buy shares in our team.

I’m really excited about having more women visible in sports, in the front office and on the field. I hope that we are inspiring the generation behind me—my sons’ friends—to dream of being in sports or in places where women haven’t traditionally been. Our trainer on the sidelines is a woman and our team doctor is a woman, too. If you look at the U.S. Women’s National Soccer team, a lot of the people on the sidelines are men. They are working hard to change that, and we want to work hard to change that. Part of it is showing girls where they can go.

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