Adrian Heath interviews always make for interesting listen. The Englishman is a witty and honest character, and on Thursday he took some time to talk to Extra Time Radio. Here are three things he discussed:
Coming to Minnesota
Within two days of parting ways with Orlando, Heath says he had offers for other jobs. However, he was committed to staying in the United States and being involved in the growth of the game here. Minnesota gave him the perfect opportunity to do just that.
When asked why he chose Minnesota, Heath stated that it was a “perfect fit for both of us. They wanted somebody who’d experienced [expansion]. . .I’ve known Manny for a while. He’s seen my teams play, knows how I like to play, knows my personality, knows how I like to work. I think I was a good fit for them and they were a really good fit for me.”
Working with Manny Lagos and Amos Magee was also a plus for Heath. “Manny is Mr. Minnesota. He and his father go back probably 40, 50 years…its good working with people whose sole aim is to make Minnesota as successful as possible.”
Helping another club build from scratch didn’t intimidate Heath in the slightest. “We spoke long and hard about the process before I took the job. It’s important to be on the same page,” the United manager said.
While the manager has hit the ground running on the business end, he is still taking some time to adjust to our lovely Minnesotan winter. “It was -21 last week,” the manager lamented. “I bought a whole new wardrobe. . .the important one is the hat with the earmuffs. I’ve only been out walking twice and I had to turn around and go to the hotel.”
His Current Players
When asked which signings he was most excited about, the manager said that “we’ve got a couple piece to bring in that I think are going to be really important for us. We’re really excited about the two Costa Ricans.”
Heath thinks that the league has yet to see the most of Johan Venegas, and doesn’t think that Francisco Calvo will have trouble adjusting to MLS because of his quality. Apparently Calvo already speaks English, which should also help him through the transition.
Vadim Demidov has played both as a center back and in defensive midfield, but for the Loons, Heath sees him as a center back. The Norwegian was hailed by his new manager as a great organizer who speaks “about five languages,” which should help him to act as a field marshall for United.
The manager also acknowledged the importance of recent signings Christian Ramirez and Miguel Ibarra. “Chirstian has scored [almost] 60 goals in the last three years. He’s a goalscorer. It would have been a poor decision for us to let a goal scorer go. . .I talked to him the day I got the job trying to convince him to stay.”
Ibarra’s insistence on returning to Minnesota impressed Heath. “Miguel had offers elsewhere but he wanted to be in Minnesota.” He looks forward to seeing the pair of longtime friends’ relationship play out on the pitch.
There is still a lot more to come, the manager says, including some big signings. Heath expects many players to be coming to the club in the next week. “There’s one piece that, if we pull it off, I think will be a very important piece for us.”
Looking forward to tomorrow’s draft, Heath spoke about what kind of player he was looking for. “I want a little bit of everything. Can he contribute this year? What is his upside? How long do we have to wait? We need players who can come in and contribute.”
Inchy acknowledged the importance of coming out of this draft with some roster pieces. “We need players, that’s the most important thing. I’m confident we can come out with a couple who I like. Certainly one, since we have the first pick.”
When asked whether or not he would be using the first pick, Heath became coy. “Nothing has come our way yet to make us consider…but we’ll see.”