Press Release

Minnesota United Academy U15 Head Coach Peter McDonnell Named as a 2023-24 Elite Formation Coaching License Participant


Minnesota United and Major League Soccer today announced that MNUFC Academy U15 Head Coach Peter McDonnell has been selected as a 2023-24 Elite Formation Coaching License (EFCL) participant. McDonnell will join 25 other MLS-based coaches in the EFCL program in partnership with the French Football Federation (FFF).

“This is the fifth generation of it from our league and everybody that I’ve spoken to that have been around it have nothing but wonderful things to say about the learning experience, the collaboration between other MLS NEXT coaches or academy directors and what it has been able to bring to their academies as far as player development at younger ages,” said MNUFC Academy U15 Head Coach Peter McDonnell. “The experience that’s going to come from being around established academies such as Toulouse [FC] Academy – which I’m going to be immersed in – is hopefully going to be something good that I can bring back to Minnesota.”

McDonnell joined MNUFC in 2021, after spending five years as the assistant coach at the University of Maine in NCAA Division 1 and the Director of Coaching for Seacoast United North. McDonnell brings vast experience to his head coach role having spent time working with the Football Association of Ireland and in NPSL at both FC Copa and Seacoast United. He has lived in the USA since 2015 and has a Masters degree in Kinesiology and Physical Education.

“Pete is an excellent developing coach that thinks deeply about the game, but more importantly the players and their emotional, physical and tactical development,” said Minnesota United Vice President of Youth Development Amos Magee. “Since Major League Soccer and the French Football Federation started collaborating on this course, it’s proven to be incredibly beneficial to some of our best, young, pro coaches in the country.”

Made available to MLS coaches in 2013, this group of candidates represent the fifth class from MLS to take part in the EFCL. Overall, the EFCL platform has played a pivotal role in MLS Homegrown development and the growth of several head coaches, assistants, and general managers throughout MLS and MLS NEXT Pro.

One of the most highly regarded and rigorous soccer coaching courses in the world, the EFCL will run a total of seven weeks over an 18-month period (February 2023 – July 2024), which begins on February 1 at the famed INF Clairefontaine outside of Paris. After completing a week of sessions, coaches will participate in club observations from February 8-15, where they will be immersed within many top European teams for one week to observe the academy and player development system. Participating clubs include Arsenal (England), Le Havre AC (France), RC Lens (France), AS Monaco (France), FC Nantes (France), Stade Rennais (France), RC Strasbourg (France), Toulouse FC (France), and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim (Germany).

In addition to the seven-week commitment, McDonnell and the other candidates will meet in smaller regional camps for field instruction and candidate evaluation during two additional extended weekends over the 18 months.

Below are the candidates from MLS who will participate in the program over the next 18 months.

2023-24 Elite Formation Coaching License Candidates
Atlanta United
Will Bates
U13 Head Coach
Charlotte FC
Patrick Daka
U13 Head Coach/Head of Development
Chicago Fire FC
Selim Talbi
U15 Head Coach
FC Cincinnati
Tyrone Marshall
MLS NEXT Pro Head Coach
Colorado Rapids
Elliot Prost
U17 Head Coach
Columbus Crew
Eric Dutt
U15 Head Coach
D.C. United
Matt Arrington
Director of Coaching
FC Dallas
Adam Wells
U15 Head Coach
Houston Dynamo FC
Jeremy Hurdle
U15 Head Coach
Sporting Kansas City
Luis Pacheco
U15 Head Coach
LA Galaxy
Sam Al-Basith
U13 Head Coach
LA Galaxy
Benoit David
U15 Head Coach
Inter Miami CF
Pedro Cavalcanti
U15 Head Coach
Minnesota United FC
Peter McDonnell
U15 Head Coach
Nashville SC
Jason Boxx
U15 Head Coach
New England Revolution
Rob Becerra
Academy Director
New England Revolution
Liam Connors
U14 Head Coach
New York City FC
Michael Dal Pra
U15 Head Coach
New York Red Bulls
Jonathan Rhodes
U17 Head Coach
Portland Timbers
Shannon Murray
MLS NEXT Pro Head Coach
Real Salt Lake
Andrew May
U17 Head Coach
San Jose Earthquakes
Erin Ridley
U15 Head Coach
San Jose Earthquakes
Steven Sosa
U17 Head Coach
Seattle Sounders FC
Brayton Knapp
U15 Head Coach
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Dan Fairhurst
U15 Head Coach