It was a historic day for Minnesota United, as the club announced today that defender Justin Davis would be one of its first Major League Soccer signings. Davis has played for the Loons since 2011 and has spent his entire professional career with the club. He has joined the club for 2017 alongside his long-time defensive partner Kevin Venegas.
“It's an exciting time for soccer here in Minnesota and I'm honored to be able to continue my career with this club,” said Davis. “Minnesota has been my only professional club and I look forward to helping the club succeed at the next level. Kevin [Venegas] and I have worked extremely hard to get to these points in our careers and I know we are excited for the new challenges in a new league.”
Over the course of six seasons with Minnesota, Davis appeared in a club record 169 games and has scored 9 goals and provided 12 assists across all competitions. He has been a mainstay in the Loons’ back line his entire career, and helped the club to back-to-back appearances in the final and a North American Soccer League Soccer Bowl Championship in 2011.
“Justin has been an exemplary player both on the field and in our community in helping us grow as a club,” said sporting director Manny Lagos. “We are all very excited and proud that he is a part of this transition to Major League Soccer.”
The Southfield, Michigan native came to Minnesota after a successful college career with the University of New Mexico along with a pair of seasons with the Des Moines Menace in the PDL. He was drafted 32nd overall by Real Salt Lake in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft, but was not offered a contract by the club and signed with the Loons the following year.
Davis has consistently been among the elite defenders when playing in the NASL. He was named to three consecutive NASL Best XI teams in 2014, 2015, 2016 and was the top scoring defender in the league in 2015 with five goals.
Davis’ play as left back has allowed for Minnesota to have a versatile attack from the wings and a formidable defense. His speed and skill on the ball creates space for his teammates, and provides service into the middle as a chance creator. On the other end of the pitch, Davis harasses opposing midfielders on the outside with solid defensive work and punishing slide tackles.
“One of the most important things is that Justin is someone that has believed in Minnesota soccer for a long time,” said Minnesota United head coach Adrian Heath. “Justin has believed in what the club has done over the past few years. It’s a great opportunity for him to prove himself at the next level of professional soccer in the U.S.”
At a press event earlier this week Minnesota United named Adrian Heath as the club’s first MLS head coach. Heath, along with sporting director Manny Lagos and director of player personnel Amos Magee will continue to build its roster ahead of the 2017 MLS season with further signings, the Expansion Draft, Re-Entry Draft, and 2017 MLS SuperDraft.
Be there when Minnesota takes the field for the first time in MLS by securing your season tickets today. Call 763.4SOCCER or visit MNUFC.COM to guarantee your seats today and learn more about the benefits of being a season ticket holding member of the Itasca Society.