The secret announcement that we knew was almost certainly coming has finally arrived: Adrian Heath will lead the Loons as their first head coach in Major League Soccer.
Minnesota United Sporting Director Manny Lagos introduced Heath earlier today at a brief press conference, giving local media a chance to meet the newly minted Minnesota manager (three cheers for alliteration!) and inquire about the road ahead.
Here are three things we learned from today’s brief meet-and-greet.
The former midfielder is looking to see an aggressive, attack-minded squad. Heath stated multiple times his desire to attack-oriented tactics. When pressed further, he showed a mind for possession-based play that favored bold set pieces to score goals. Heath seemed keenly aware that American crowds want to see numbers on the scoreboard as he emphasized a style of play that will energize and attract a fanbase.
Building a Brand New Squad
I don’t think many of us have quite caught our breath since the official announcement of our promotion to MLS this summer. Given how fast this seems to be moving for me, I can’t imagine what a whirlwind the MNUFC front office must be living in.
In a mere three months, the Loons will field a soccer team. Who will be on that team? Will we bring any players from our NASL days up to the big league with us? Who will be our DPs? What about Christian Ramirez?? These questions and more continue to linger as we march ever closer to kickoff on opening day of the 2017-18 MLS season.
The new coach described how he wanted to recruit players that wanted to be in Minnesota, and compared the club to Premier League side Newcastle for being fairly far out in the country. While it may be tough to recruit certain players against competition from larger, flashier markets, Minnesota is an MLS town now. That alone is enough reason for most to answer the call to play.
While Atlanta United - the other club slated to join MLS this coming season alongside Minnesota - has already announced formal plans to create and culture a youth academy, Minnesota has remained silent on all fronts. That is, until today.
Toward the end of the presser, Heath let slip that they expect to have an academy of some kind ready to go next season. It was one time among many that Heath emphasized how important community involvement would be to the club.
While we won’t know precisely what our young team will look like until much closer to pre-season soccer, we at least got a peak at what Heath has planned for our club. Do you like the sound of Heath’s plan? Let me know in the comments below.