Minnesota United today announced that the club has hired Khaled El-Ahmad as its next Sporting Director and Chief Soccer Officer.
“Khaled is an outstanding fit for this role, and I am thrilled that he and his family made the decision to join our club. He has a tremendous background, a track record of success, exceptional technical vision, a leadership approach that matches our club values and beliefs, and an energy and focus about him that I personally love,” said MNUFC CEO Shari Ballard. “We can’t wait to work with him as we begin the next chapter for Minnesota United.”
Khaled El-Ahmad joins Minnesota United having amassed over 15 years of experience in soccer, working in a variety of both technical and front-office roles. Since September 2021, he has been the CEO and Sporting Director for Barnsley Football Club of the EFL League One. In this role, he has overseen all aspects of sporting, including direct oversight of technical strategy, roster construction and management, coaching hires and development, as well as the club’s business and commercial operations.
“I am excited to embark on this journey with Minnesota United in my new role as Chief Soccer Officer and Sporting Director. I would like to express my gratitude to everyone at Minnesota United for entrusting me with this opportunity. As we chart our course ahead, I am eagerly anticipating helping this club excel on the field and joining in the profoundly positive impact we can have on the community,” said Khaled El-Ahmad. “From the very first conversation I had with Shari it was clear that we share a deep connection in terms of our values, our vision for the club's future, the significance of community involvement, and the upcoming chapter in Minnesota United's history. However, above all else, I am most excited about the opportunity to engage with the fans. Your passion and support is of the highest level and I look forward to embarking on this journey with you.”
Prior to his time with Barnsley, El-Ahmad was with City Football Group (CFG) from 2015-2021, where he served as the Concacaf and Scandinavia Scouting Lead for CFG as well as supporting roster construction and recruitment for NYCFC. During his six years with CFG, El-Ahmad created and led a strong global scouting and recruiting network, which helped the club produce consistently talented and high-performing teams, including the NYCFC squad that won the 2021 MLS Cup.
Preceding his time at CFG, he served as Head of Recruitment for Djurgården Elitfotboll AB of the Swedish Allsvenskan, the first division of soccer in Sweden. In his four years with the club, El-Ahmad helped the organization construct a talented roster and created a consistent level of success built through the relationships and management of his global scouting network – culminating in the team reaching the Swedish Cup Final in 2013.
El-Ahmad also held various technical staff and sporting roles from 2008-2011 in the United States and other parts of Scandinavia & Europe, including assistant-coaching, recruiting/scouting, and data-analysis positions.
Born in Lebanon to Lebanese and Czech parents, and raised in Uppsala, Sweden, 42-year-old El-Ahmad took an interest in soccer at a young age. He played youth soccer for his hometown club IK Sirius FK of Sweden’s topflight in 1998. He then made his way to the United States to play collegiately for the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee from 2000-2004.
El-Ahmad graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee in 2005 with Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing. Additionally, he holds a Master of Business Administration and International Business from UW Milwaukee, along with a Sports Management Leadership Diploma from Örebro University, achieved in 2013.
Outside of his sporting leadership experience, El-Ahmad has founded several business ventures, including Connect Management Group, a women’s-soccer full-service agency representing players across the globe.
Khaled is married to Fenik Saleh and they have two daughters, Ella and Livia. He will join the club in the coming months.