Who We Are

When you become part of Minnesota United’s academy system, you join a program committed to excellence. Just one look at our badge tells you all you need to know:

  • The Mississippi River runs through the crest, just as it runs through our state. It speaks to the adaptability of MNUFC players, as well as their ability to push through tough circumstances.
  • The silver plates on either side of the river represent the taconite mined right here in Minnesota, symbolizing the strength and stability of our club.
  • The 11 feathers on the wing of the Loon represent a united team, one that can only function when every member works in concert toward our goals. 
  • The North Star represents leadership and bravery, attributes our club seeks to identify and foster in both players and staff.
  • To tie everything together, the eye of the loon puts a unique punctuation mark at the end of it all. At MNUFC, we do things our own way. The environment we live in, the way in which we conduct ourselves, and the challenges we face are unique to our club. No matter how cold it gets, our passionate pursuit of excellence burns within us, always.
MNUFC Academy goalie pointing at MNUFC badge

Walking the Path

A key piece in the success of any professional soccer club is the youth pipeline. Clubs all over the world continually search for the next superstar to add to their team, creating a race to identify and cultivate talent at a young age. Most clubs have established academy programs to aid in this endeavor. These programs provide a professional coaching and development environment to talented youth players, with the goal of producing the soccer stars of tomorrow.

Here at MNUFC, we have created an approach to developing young talent that is unique to our market. By collaborating with local clubs, we have found ways to ensure that the top players in Minnesota have development opportunities at their local club as well as with our academy staff in our Discovery ID camps.

This has allowed us to make the most of our local soccer community while giving us the flexibility to strategically allocate our own resources to maximize the potential growth of our programs, from our youth teams all the way up to our 1st team. The following is a basic breakdown of our program structure:

  • For ages 8-14, MNUFC has invested in and collaborated directly with local clubs. This system focuses on early development and talent recognition, giving young players the chance to play at clubs year-round and earn a chance to represent MNUFC on a call-up basis, similar to a national team call-up.
  • Starting at the U15 level, MNUFC operates teams in MLS NEXT. These teams take the place of other club soccer participation, transitioning players into year-round calendar and a more intensive professional environment as they get closer to the first team. This structure operates at the U17 and U19 levels as well, before moving into our MLS NEXT Pro team.
  • For players that climb the academy ladder all the way to the top, MNUFC2 serves as the final proving ground before athletes ascend to the first team. Since the 2022 season, MNUFC2 has competed in MLS NEXT Pro, a league explicitly designed to act as a bridge between MLS NEXT play and Major League Soccer.
  • MNUFC2 and MLS NEXT Pro will allow young players to experience a more competitive, professional environment to accelerate their final development before taking the last domestic step up to Major League Soccer.

Proof of Success

  • MNUFC has signed 3 Homegrown contracts with Academy players.
  • 16 Academy players appeared in match-day squads for MNUFC2 in 2022 season.
  • 100% of graduating players from the Academy in 2022 had the option to go to college with full or partial athletic scholarship.
  • 1/6th of graduates signed pro soccer contracts and the other 5/6ths went to college.


  • Our Academy is based on a sense of belonging and care for the individual person.
  • We believe in building a football club that encourages progression in academic, personal and soccer pursuits.
  • In an effort to promote opportunity to progress to the highest levels of the club, we share facilities with MNUFC2 and the MNUFC first team.

Contact Us

If you would like to nominate yourself or a player you work with, you can do so using the form below.

Follow MNUFC Academy
Follow MNUFC Academy