The MNUFC’s youth development program has turned what was for some a stifling stop in the sports world into an opportunity to show off resilience over the past five months. The YDP may be a young program, but it is progressing rapidly and showing promise.
The YDP has opened its arms to young players from all communities in the Twin Cities, giving them access to training through the National Sports Center’s new world-class dome program, in which the first team also trains. The club has given more than 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 daily performance and getting your place in the program, which created a hunger in most players and an overriding hope with views on whether to be part of the path to the first team.
“The past five months are just the start of a long-term project that will help the MNUFC identify and develop high-performance soccer players and create a membership in our club,” said the Director of Development of youth Noel Quinn. “It is important for the MNUFC to cultivate an environment that rewards hunger, provides opportunity and gives Minnesota players the chance to call the MNUFC home.”
And now there is no slowdown for the YDP. It is only a forward movement. June is about turning the promise into progress into a club that fully embraces the importance of its youth. The YDP is hosting its first summer training session, which will immerse young players in the first-team environment and culture, opening their eyes and welcoming them into the Minnesota United family. Over the next three weeks, players will be integrated into the first team, have unique experiences listening and learning from first team coaches, medical and athletic staff, and be exposed to the club culture.
“The next month of training for the YDP group is really exciting with a demanding training program that will provide a great atmosphere and environment for the children, with a training program very similar to that of the first team,” said sporting director Manny Lagos.
Trials for the Youth Development Program will take place July 6, 7 and 8 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the National Sports Center stadium. Register using the link below.