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2023 MNUFC MLS NEXT Pro Combines 

Emanuel Iwe

Soccer culture in the United States is undergoing a revolution. With every passing year, more and more professional, semi-pro and amateur teams are cropping up. This expansion in popularity and demand has shown that this is indeed a soccer nation, but one that is still finding its feet.

In the Minnesota Youth Soccer Association alone, there are over 65 clubs focused on youth development at all ages. From Manitou to Albert Lea, there is plenty of talent to be uncovered and nurtured here in the North Star State, and Minnesota United is taking the lead.

As MNUFC continues to develop their own pathway from youth to first-team soccer, talent identification remains a key step in the process. Through both the Academy and MNUFC2, the Black and Blue want to attract and cultivate players that will drive the club forward. In the coming months, the Loons will be hosting two MLS NEXT Pro Combines to do just that.

The first combine will be in mid-December, with the second taking place in early January. At each one, players will take part in a mixture of small-sided training drills and full-sided scrimmages to determine their skill-level. All sessions will be at the National Sports Center Dome in Blaine, Minnesota.

These events are specifically intended to add the best players to the MNUFC development pipeline. MNUFC combines are meant for players that are serious about progressing in soccer and have the skill to join a high-level program. Everyone in attendance will have a chance to make their mark.

This won’t be the first time the Loons have offered this kind of chance. Before the inaugural MLS NEXT Pro season, MNUFC used a similar combine to find local talent to bolster their roster.

In last year’s combine, MNUFC2’s Emmanuel Iwe took advantage of his chance to shine. After playing one season at St. Cloud State University, Iwe joined the Loons as the first Minnesota native to sign with MNUFC2. In his first season with the team, he earned his way to an appearance with the first team in their friendly match against Everton. His career is proof that this opportunity could be the perfect stepping stone for a young player.

For more information on dates, fees, and other details, visit this webpage. Spots are limited and the deadlines to register are coming soon; perspective registrants should get their playing resumes ready and apply today.