The MNUFC Youth Development Program has turned what for some was a stifling standstill in the sports world into an opportunity to showcase its resilience the past five months. The YDP may be a young program but it’s making rapid progress and proving it’s full of promise.
The YDP opened its arms to youth players in all communities across the Twin Cities, affording access to training through the program at the National Sports Center’s new, world-class dome, which the First Team trains in as well. The club gave over 750 players a place to be and a place to play during a global pandemic, providing a sense of home during an incredibly difficult time in the world. The training sessions were based on performing every day and earning your spot in the program, which created a hunger in most players, and an overarching hope with sights set on the opportunity to be a part of the pathway towards the First Team.
“The past five months are just the beginning of a long-term project that will help MNUFC to identify and develop high-level soccer players and create a belonging to our club,” said Director of Youth Development Noel Quinn. “It is important for MNUFC to cultivate an environment that rewards hunger, provides opportunities and gives the players in Minnesota the chance to call MNUFC home.”
And now, there’s no slowing down for the YDP. It’s only forward movement. June is about turning the promise into progress in a club fully embracing the importance of its youth. The YDP is holding its first Summer Training, which will immerse the young players in the First Team environment and culture, opening their eyes and welcoming them into the Minnesota United family. For the next three weeks, players will be integrated with the First Team, have unique experiences hearing and learning from First Team coaches, medical and sporting staff and be exposed to the culture of the club.
“The next month of training for the YDP group is really exciting with a demanding training schedule that will have a great atmosphere and environment for the kids, with the training schedule very similar to the First Team,” said Sporting Director Manny Lagos.
Tryouts for the Youth Development Program will be held on July 6, 7 and 8 from 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. at the National Sports Center Stadium. Register using the link below.