Minnesota United coach Adrian Heath now has a contract extension possibly through 2022 to go with the additional authority and responsibility given him last fall after leading the team to the MLS Cup playoffs for the first time. The two-season extension for the 2020 and 2021 seasons includes a team option for 2022.
The extension comes after the franchise restructured its management in November and made Heath and new technical director Mark Watson — Heath’s longtime assistant — more power to develop United’s first team.
Heath in turn has reshaped staff closest around him. He hired goalkeeping coach Stewart Kerr last summer, brought Watson up from assistant coach into a management role with him, and now has hired a new assistant coach — Orlando City’s Sean McAuley — to fill Watson’s former job.
United CEO Chris Wright, in a team statement Friday announcing the contract, called last year’s turnaround winning season, which included reaching the U.S. Open Cup final and a first-round playoff loss to the L.A. Galaxy, “success any way that you measure it and we knew Adrian and his staff were still the right choice to help us keep developing the club.”
A former English first division star player and career coach, Heath was hired in November 2016 after having coached MLS team Orlando City.
Heath, in the team statement, said he was “delighted to get it sorted and really excited about where we can go from what we’ve just done.”
Under the United’s new front-office structure, Heath and Watson traded star Darwin Quintero to Houston in November. With the start of training approaching Monday, they traded with LAFC for starting goalkeeper Tyler Miller on Thursday, added USL Championship league midfielder James Musa on Friday and are expected to sign Paraguayan striker Luis Amarilla soon.