October 27, 2012: Second leg of the NASL Championship in St. Petersburg.
A good number of Minnesota fans, including myself, had made the trip to Florida for the game. The Stars had been league owned for two seasons, and at this point there were no clear leads on new owners for the team. Surely a team that had won two consecutive titles and was building a fan base wouldn't be contracted, right? This game changed that narrative a bit. Minnesota took a 2-0 lead into this game from the first leg, but lost 3-1 on the night. NASL didn't use the away goals rule, so the game went to extra time, then eventually penalties, where the Rowdies won.
It's bad enough to have to watch the other team lift the trophy in front of you; it's another level when you're not sure if you've just witnessed the last game before your team folds. With the loss of the Thunder after the 2009 season (#FUDJ), this really stung.
Obviously, you all know that the story didn't end there; within a few months, the team had been purchased by Dr. Bill McGuire, renamed Minnesota United (*sigh*), and placed on the track towards bigger and better things. But that time sitting on the berm (and with beers in the parking lot after) pondering the end of it all was rough.