Minnesota United FC have parted ways with Head Coach Adrian Heath, the club announced today. Assistant Coach Sean McAuley will serve as the Interim Head Coach for the remainder of the 2023 MLS campaign, while Assistant Coach Ian Fuller and Goalkeeping Coach Stewart Kerr will remain in their current roles.
“We are grateful to Adrian for his dedication to our club and for all that we have accomplished over the last seven seasons. This was a difficult decision, but we believe that the time is right to move in a new direction,” said MNUFC CEO, Shari Ballard. “Whenever a club decides to make a coaching change, there is a tendency to focus only on the end of that coach’s tenure; however, the conclusion of Adrian’s time with MNUFC should not diminish his significant contributions to our club. His passion and hard work have been enormously impactful, and we thank him for all that he has done for MNUFC and for our community.”
Heath joined MNUFC in November 2016, ahead of the club's 2017 inaugural season in MLS. In 2019, Heath led the Loons to their first MLS Cup Playoff appearance and the finals of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. He continued that success in 2020, with a semi-final appearance in the MLS is Back Tournament and a run to the Western Conference Finals. Over his seven seasons with the club, he compiled a 91-101-56 record in all competitions and made the MLS Cup Playoffs four times (2019, 2020, 2021, 2022). Currently, MNUFC (9-12-11) sit in 12th place in the Western Conference with two games remaining in the regular season.
Interim Head Coach McAuley is in his fifth season with MNUFC, after two seasons as an assistant coach with Orlando City SC and six seasons with the Portland Timbers, where he helped guide the Timbers to the 2015 MLS Cup championship. The Englishman began his coaching career in 2006, where he spent seven years developing the academy at English side Sheffield Wednesday F.C. Wednesday’s academy developed several players that went on to sign for the first team under his guidance.
Prior to transitioning to coaching, McAuley enjoyed a 15-year professional playing career. A Manchester United youth product, McAuley made his professional debut for St. Johnstone in the Scottish Premiership. McAuley played 16 games for the Timbers in 2002 while the club was in the lower division before retiring in 2005.
In addition, Minnesota United announced they have parted ways with Technical Director Mark Watson. Watson joined MNUFC as an assistant coach in the club’s inaugural MLS season in 2017. Watson was named the club’s Technical Director following the 2019 MLS campaign.