BLAINE, Minn. — Minnesota United has agreed to a new contract with head coach Adrian Heath, the club announced Friday, Jan. 17. Heath’s deal has two years guaranteed in 2020-21 and a club option for 2022.
Heath had his first three-year contract expire after leading the Loons to the MLS Cup playoffs in 2019, and in setting up his return, he officially received more decision-making power in first-team player-personnel decisions when the front office was altered in November.
Heath is 36-49-17 in three seasons with the Loons, but was 15-11-8 in 2019, good for fourth place in the Western Conference.
On the news, United CEO Chris Wright said in a statement: “We had a plan and timeline for how we wanted to develop this team starting out and we wanted to give Adrian and our soccer operations the time to implement the strategies that we have all put in place.
“Last year was a success any way that you measure it, and we knew Adrian and his staff were still the right choice to help us keep developing our club,” Wright continued. “We are all working hard to make sure that our club moves in the right direction and our vision for the club is successful. We see Adrian and his staff as being a big part of this.”
Heath looked forward to the future in part of his statement: “The most important thing is we have to push on now, we can’t rest on what we’ve done. Yes, last year was good, but we have to make this year even better.”
The Loons also announced the addition of defensive midfielder James Musa on Friday. The 27-year-old New Zealand native will provide depth behind Ozzie Alonso and Hassani Dotson this season.
“He’s up for the challenge,” Heath said in a statement. “Physically, he’s very imposing, very athletic. Really good personality, he’s very strong-willed and we think he’s going to come in and try to compete. He knows it’s going to be tough but he’s prepared to embrace the challenge.”
Musa, 27, has played 54 games across two years for the Phoenix Rising in the lower-level USL Championship. He possesses his green card, meaning he will not take one of the Loons’ international spots.
United players are set to report to preseason camp at the National Sports Center in Blaine on Monday, with the first interviews with media on Tuesday.
They will be in Minnesota for a week before going to Melbourne, Fla., for training and friendlies, followed by another trip to Portland, Ore., for three exhibitions.
The season opener is at Portland on March 1; the home opener at Allianz Field is against the New York Red Bulls on March 15.