Youth News

Youth Development Program Schedule | 2021

Minnesota United has released its 2021-22 season schedule and roster for the Youth Development Program (YDP), presented by M Health Fairview. This is the first season Minnesota United will participate in MLS NEXT.

“I am so excited for the kids and the staff. It’s been a long year dealing with COVID and a long year trying to navigate the situation,” said MNUFC Chief Soccer Officer Manny Lagos. To have the league officially up and running and us participating in it, it’s incredibly exciting. I’m excited for the club and our program to participate in such a high level youth development competition.” 

As Major League Soccer announced in August, MLS NEXT features nearly 600 teams competing in over 9,000 matches over a ten-month calendar. Top players from the country’s leading 134 clubs, including all 29 MLS Academies, will field teams in up to six age groups: U13, U14, U15, U16, U17, and U19. 

The 2021-22 season will allow the top prospects in the U.S. and Canada to compete in a ten-month regular season and a chance to become MLS NEXT Champions by winning the MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs in July 2022. New to the second edition of the competition, the 2021-22 MLS NEXT campaign will feature two national events, a winter event and a qualifying event for the annual MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs.  

“We are excited to get started in MLS NEXT after a productive rebuilding phase over the past year,” said MNUFC Director of Youth Development Noel Quinn. “Our goal is to support players who can make the journey towards first team football. We have made strides in this, through integration and support with the first team and the level of competition in MLS NEXT will help us reach our goal.”

MNUFC YDP’s first match is on Saturday, September 25 when the U-15 squad will face the Michigan Jaguars.

Youth Development Program Roster
Youth Development Program Roster
John Albright, Tonka Fusion Elite
Jacob Betting, Eden Prairie SC
Ayuub Ahmed, St. Paul Blackhawks
Jaden Bernard, Minneapolis United
Tyler Leonard, Minnesota Thunder Academy
Andre Clifton, Keliix Intra
Danny Boakai, Coon Rapids United SC
Elijah Proost, St. Paul Blackhawks
Leo Conneh, Maplebrook Soccer Association
Gavin Carlson, Tonka Fusion Elite
Jack Roach, Minnesota Thunder Academy
Damon Humphrey, Minnesota Thunder Academy
Kevin Cruz, Maplebrook Soccer Association
Christopher Sanchez, Minnesota Thunder Academy
Bennett Kouame, Joy of the People
Ike Deuel, Tonka Fusion Elite
Eli Sedlack, Salvo SC
Pascal Leatherman, St. Paul Blackhawks
Christian Gunther, Coon Rapids United SC
Samuel Soto Jr, Minnesota Thunder Academy
Dylan Moua, St. Paul Blackhawks
Heanos Hanns, St. Croix SC
Osher Zmira, St. Paul Blackhawks
Morgan Olson, Minnesota Thunder Academy
Alex Keekley, Tonka Fusion Elite
Justin Arias, St. Paul Blackhawks
Aydarous Omar, St. Paul Blackhawks
Axil Linares, Minneapolis United
Julian Banks, St. Paul Blackhawks
Perry Blay, Real Salt Lake
Christopher Lopez Salvador, St. Paul Blackhawks
Carlos Casillas-Lopez, Minnesota Thunder Academy
Drew Brown, Vision Soccer Academy
Tommy Carr, St. Paul Blackhawks
Jumel Cephas, Boreal FC
Johapson Cetina
Levi Musokwa, Manitou FC
Giovanni Cruz, St. Paul Blackhawks
Drew Clark, Minnesota Thunder Academy
Saccu (Papa) Ngum, Coon Rapids United SC
George Deibert, Minnesota Thunder Academy
Eric Contreras
Anthony Porter, Sporting MN
Blaine Estudillo, Minnesota Thunder Academy
CJ Coppola, Vision Soccer Academy
Damir Secic, Blaine SC/Twin Cities Rush
Jonah Gasho, Minnesota Thunder Academy
Eyifehn Forfor, Vision Soccer Academy
Nico Amaya, Joy of the People
Alexander Gutierrez, St. Paul Blackhawks
Grayson Frum, Lakeville SC
Tim Dennis, Boreal FC
Tamer Ibsais, Minnesota Thunder Academy
David Garcia, Edina
Aiden Dualan, Salvo SC
Cooper Lijewski, St. Croix SC
Baraka Kania
Bryan Espadero, Manitou FC
Liam Moreira, Minnesota Thunder Academy
Thomas Kniser, Minnesota Thunder Academy
Liam Johnson, Minneapolis United
Nathan Moua, St. Paul Blackhawks
Jackson Lagos, Minneapolis United
Alie Lamah, Boreal FC
Jonathan Pena Vasquez, St. Paul Blackhawks
Daniel Lainsbury, Minnesota Thunder Academy
Emin Lilic, Blaine SC/Twin Cities Rush
Kage (Keith) Romanshyn, St. Croix
Carlos Leatherman, St. Paul Blackhawks
Prince Massaquoi, Boreal FC
Jacob Sapp, Minneapolis United
Devin Padelford, St. Croix SC
Grady Monette, Manitou FC
Merrick Schaefer, Minnesota Thunder Academy
Jacob Thao
Lennox Moua, Manitou FC
Christopher Vang
McKray Tuma, Minnesota Thunder Academy
Alisa Randall, Boreal FC
Dominick Vargas, St. Paul Blackhawks
Ethan Xiong, Maplebrook Soccer Association
Coby Shtulman, Tonka Fusion Elite
Wilfredo Vargas Jr, Salvo SC
David Adegborioye
Colin Ssennoga, Maplebrook Soccer Association
Luca Guarin, Joy of the People
Ousman Touray, Coon Rapids United SC
Brandon Lee, Minnesota Thunder Academy
Dominic Voeug, Sporting MN
Luis Mancilla-Figueroa, Minnesota Thunder Academy
Rulan Vue, St. Paul Blackhawks
Kellie Marah, Maplebrook Soccer Association
Jack Wade, Tonka Fusion Elite
Eric Riera, Manitou FC
Jordan Bernard, Minneapolis United
Antwane Ruiz, Richfield Soccer Association
Oliver Brown, Minneapolis United
John Ryan, Joy of the People
Miles de Leon, Minnesota Thunder Academy
Zachariah Sherian, Manitou FC
Elijah Fearing, Salvo SC
Martin Gallegos
Elijah Jensen, Park Valley United
Teddy Kaster, Maplebrook Soccer Association
Kyle Lee, St. Paul Blackhawks
Christ Messi, St. Paul Blackhawks
Franklin Miller, Tonka Fusion Elite
Ethan Mueller, MN Rush
George Porter, Sporting MN
Lukas Varags, St. Paul Blackhawks
Kai Zeruhn

Youth Development Program Staff

Noel Quinn, Director of Youth Development
A Belfast, Ireland native, Quinn has extensive experience in youth development. Quinn has been heavily involved in Minnesota youth soccer for over 15 years, including as a director at Edina Soccer Club, EPSC and Blaine SC. 

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

Justin Ferguson, Youth Development Coach
Justin Ferguson joins MNUFC after spending the last 5 years working in NCAA division 1 athletics at the University of Cincinnati. During his time in Cincinnati he also worked with MLS Next club Cincinnati United Premier. Locally, he’s worked with Salvo Soccer Club. He brings a wide variety of skills from video analysis, team coaching, scouting, and physical performance.

Justin Flack, Youth Development Program Administrator
Justin Flack joins MNUFC with experience working with the Blaine Soccer Club, Fusion Soccer Club, Tri-City Storm Soccer Club and St. Thomas Academy. A soccer player growing up, Flack was a two-year team captain for the Concordia College Men’s Soccer team, a four-year started, two-year All-Conference recognition and was named Academic All-Conference team three times.

M Health Fairview

M Health Fairview is a First Team Partner of Minnesota United and is the presenting partner of the MNUFC Youth Development Program. With the launch of the Youth Development Program, M Health Fairview will be the jersey partner starting in 2021. Additionally, MNUFC and M Health Fairview will be working to increase the understanding and importance of sun safety in youth sports. Through its Sun Safe Soccer initiative, M Health Fairview aims to educate players, coaches and families on the risks associated with sun exposure at a young age––and the simple steps players, coaches and families can take to stay safe and protected while playing the beautiful game of soccer. 

“We’re excited to be partnered with MNUFC on the launch of their new Youth Development Program,’ said Dr. Ian Maher, Medical Director for Dermatology at M Health Fairview and Director of Dermatologic Surgery at University of Minnesota. “These individuals and their families proudly represent their clubs, their communities, the state and all of MNUFC supporters. We can’t wait to share in the joy of watching these players and the soccer culture in Minnesota develop, while also learning and passing-on the importance of playing safe in the sun at every age.” 

MNUFC returns to the pitch for its fifth season in MLS. Follow Minnesota United’s social channels and check our website at for regular updates on the club.