Minnesota United will finally have a second team.
After five years without one, the Loons will present “MNUFC2” as one of 21 clubs participating in the first year of MLS NEXT Pro in 2022. MNUFC2 will be the link between the club’s youth development academy and the first team of MLS.
Cameron Knowles to coach MNUFC2; He joined the club in 2021 after nine seasons with the Portland Timbers, including three years as head coach of Timbers 2 in the USL Second Tier Championship.
Young Loons players such as St. Paul goaltender Fred Emmings, midfielders Aziel Jackson and Justin McMaster, and defensemen Nabi Kibunguchy and Callum Montgomery could be candidates to play for MNUFC2 next season. Some of these young players spent time on loan in USL last season.
“Today’s announcement will have an impact on youth football in the state of Minnesota and it provides an opportunity for this club to expand the way we develop young players for the first team,” said Loons director of football Manny Lagos in a statement.
MLS NEXT Pro, which will be a professional third division league, will begin its first season in March and end it in September. Minnesota expected to play their yet to be released schedule at the National Sports Center in Blaine and Allianz Field.
MNUFC2 will have a recruiting combine from January 5-7, with registrations starting Tuesday on mnufc.com.