Minnesota United remain committed to Adrian Heath.
The Loons and their manager have agreed to a two-year contract extension prior to the start of the 2022 season, with a new term that will run until the 2024 campaign, Pioneer Press learned on Wednesday. It is not clear if the contract includes option years.
One source said the Heat, hired ahead of the club’s inaugural season in 2017 and renewed for the first time since the 2019 season, and MNUFC have agreed to a new deal before this year’s pre-season camp opens in January. The deal came after the Heat led the Loons to three straight MLS Cup playoff games. Only two other Western Conference clubs make the playoffs three consecutive times (Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers); four have reached this level in the East.
News of the Heath deal was delayed by his request for new contracts for three of his on-field assistant coaches – Ian Fuller, Sean McAuley and Stuart Kerr. The last of the three deals was completed last month, the source said. The club is expected to announce Heath’s contract on Thursday; payroll data is not taken into account.
Heath became the fourth longest-serving full-time coach in MLS behind Sporting Kansas City’s Peter Vermes (2009), Philadelphia Union’s Jim Curtin (2014) and Seattle’s Brian Schmetzer (2016). These three have won trophies; There is no hit.
The Heat, who holds the title of manager given his head coaching duties and leading role in the club’s front office, has a record of 63 wins, 72 losses and 37 draws in Minnesota since 2017. 18, Hitu 42-34-28.
The club came close to winning silver in two major tournament series (2019 US Open Cup Final, 2-1 loss to Atlanta United and 2020 MLS Western Conference Final, 3-2 loss to Seattle ). Minnesota was eliminated from the MLS Cup Playoffs in the first round in 2019 and 2021.
Minnesota is not at that pace yet this season. The Loons suffered their worst 2-1 loss in their MLS era to Union Omaha in the round of 16 of the US Open at Allianz Field in May. Omaha is in American Football’s third tier, USL League One, and they lost 6-0 to Kansas City on Wednesday in the quarterfinals.
The Loons (5-7-3, 18 points) are currently 11th in the 14-team Western Conference. Seven teams advance to the playoffs, with Minnesota trailing last place by two points. 56 percent of the regular season remains to be played.
In the pre-season, Heath and MNUFC players stated that the goal of the season was to finish in the top four in the West, qualifying for at least one playoff game.
The Heat, who pride themselves on their offensive coaching career, have seen a lack of goals scored, especially this season. Minnesota has only scored 16 goals in 15 league games, third most in the league this season behind Inter Miami and Chicago Fire.
Robin Lod leads the team with six goals in the MLS game, but his trio of player-nominated strikers have scored five in total (Emanuel Reynoso scored three, Luis Amarilla added two, and Adrien Hunou nil).
Minnesota’s defense and goaltending made them competitive. With Dane St. Clair as the team’s MVP, they only conceded 17 goals in 15 games. They have a goal difference of minus 1.