MLS expansion outfit Minnesota United have hired Adrian Heath as the first head coach in club history. This will be the second MLS expansion team Heath has taken control of. He was in charge for the first season and a half of Orlando City’s MLS life before he was replaced by Jason Kreis in July.
Adrian Heath Named Minnesota United Head Coach
Before coming to the United States, Heath coached at Burnley, Sheffield United, and Coventry City in England. He had been in charge at Orlando City since their USL PRO days as the Austin Aztex. He started in the Texas capital in 2008, stuck with them as they moved to Orlando in 2010, and won USL titles in 2011 and 2014 before overseeing the transition to MLS.
His 16-20-18 record in charge of an MLS team may not be the best, but his experience in bringing a team up to the top tier is why Minnesota brought him. Sporting director Manny Lagos said as much in the press conference announcing Heath’s hiring: “His experience in Orlando City, helping that organization grow and build the right way and the way he immersed himself in the fanbase and in the community was a critical factor in making this decision. We are thrilled to have someone with Adrian’s talents and expertise at this club.”
He now takes over a team coming to MLS from the second tier NASL. The club finished fifth in the combined table last season and missed the playoffs by six points.
His first task will be working with Lagos to select five players in the MLS Expansion Draft on December 13, followed by using the first pick in the MLS SuperDraft a month later. His training camp will open on January 23.