Minnesota United announced today the club has signed a new deal with Head Coach Adrian Heath that keeps Heath with Minnesota through the 2024 season. Additionally, the club signed new contracts with Assistant Coaches Ian Fuller and Sean McAuley, and Goalkeeper Coach Stewart Kerr.
“Adrian has been absolutely instrumental in driving the competitive success Minnesota United achieved in its first five MLS seasons, being one of only three Western Conference teams to make the MLS Cup Playoffs in each of the last three years, including reaching the Western Conference Finals in 2020,” said MNUFC Chief Executive Officer Shari Ballard. “The commitment he and his wife Jane have to this club and to our community is inarguable. As we continue to build on the momentum created during the early phase of MNUFC’s development, I look forward to working with Adrian and our entire team to achieve even greater levels of success both on and off the field.”
Heath joined MNUFC in November of 2016 as the club’s first MLS coach ahead of Minnesota’s inaugural season in 2017. After five seasons in Minnesota, the Englishman has a 73-79-39 MLS record and 47-21-19 home record. During the 2019 campaign, Heath led MNUFC to a club-record 53 points, 4th place in the Western Conference, one of the best defensive turnarounds in league history, the club’s first-ever spot in the MLS Cup Playoffs and the championship game of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. In 2020, Heath guided the Loons to the Western Conference Finals of the MLS Cup Playoffs – the furthest Minnesota United has reached in MLS postseason play in club history, followed by a third-consecutive playoffs appearance for the Loons in 2021. Heath is notably one of three coaches in the Western Conference and seven in MLS who have led their club to three-straight playoffs appearances. On August 10, Heath will act as head coach for MLS in the 2022 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target, when they take on LIGA MX’s All-Stars at Allianz Field in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Prior to arriving in Minnesota, Heath coached Orlando City SC for two seasons in MLS and four in USL, where Orlando won two USL Pro championships and three Commissioner’s Cups. His U.S coaching career began in Austin for the Austin Aztex in 2009. The team spent two years in Austin before relocating to Orlando in 2010, becoming Orlando City SC. Heath spent 11 years coaching in England for clubs such as Burnley, Sheffield United and Coventry City.
Hailing from Staffordshire, England, Heath enjoyed an 18-year professional soccer career before entering into coaching. The attacker’s journey began with Stoke City and included a notable career at Everton, where he scored 71 goals in 226 appearances, won two league titles, an FA Cup and a UEFA Cup Winner’s Cup in 1985. In 1989, Heath went on to play for Espanyol in Spain, then returned to England to play for Manchester City and Burnley, where he eventually transitioned into the role of player-manager in 1996.
“I’m so pleased to continue my coaching career with Minnesota United. I’ve said this on numerous occasions, but in a perfect world, this would be my last coaching job. I love the club, the fans and the community. My family and I have built a life here and we couldn’t be happier to remain here in Minnesota,” said MNUFC Head Coach Adrian Heath. “I have to thank my staff; this isn’t just about me. This has been a joint effort, and I’m so pleased that the entire staff has signed on. When I look back at how far we have come — we are still a young team in MLS terms, we are still getting better as a club, and we know we have to keep pushing and raising the level of success. I am are proud of what we have done, and I look forward to continuing to push to achieve our collective goals.”
In addition to Heath’s new deal, Minnesota United Assistant Coaches Ian Fuller and Sean McAuley, along with Goalkeeper Coach Stewart Kerr, each agreed to new deals with the club through the 2024 season.
Fuller is in his seventh season as an assistant coach for Minnesota United, having arrived on staff in 2016 after spending championship-winning seasons with Orlando City (USL Pro) and the Charleston Battery (USL 2). He then reunited with Heath ahead of the Loons first MLS season in 2017.
McAuley is now in his third season with MNUFC following assistant-coaching stints with Orlando City SC and the Portland Timbers, where he helped the side capture the 2015 MLS Cup title. McAuley had a prolific 15-year playing career for the likes of Manchester United’s youth system, Scottish Premiership sides and stateside for Portland before the Timbers joined MLS.
Kerr is also in his third season with the Loons after spending six years at other MLS clubs. Kerr notably has experience training world-class goalkeepers that have competed in top leagues and tournaments globally, including the Scottish Premier League and the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Minnesota United continues a three-match road stretch on Saturday, June 25 when they travel south to face Inter Miami CF at 7:00 p.m. CT, before heading to the City of Angels to go up against Western Conference foes LA Galaxy on Wednesday, June 29 at 9:30 p.m. CT.