Changes To Focus on Growth And Evolution Of Club
Minnesota United Restructures sporting team to focus development of MNUFC academy, second team and enhancement of training facility.
Minnesota United Sporting Director Manny Lagos has been named Chief Soccer Officer. Lagos will continue to oversee the sporting department. Assistant Coach Mark Watson is the team’s new Technical Director. Watson’s new responsibilities include overseeing all the First Team roster duties. Head Athletic Trainer Stacey Hardin has been named Senior Director of Player Health and Performance.
“When we entered MLS in 2017, our first priorities were the development and foundation of our first team roster and the construction and opening of Allianz Field. Having successfully achieved those objectives, we felt it was important to restructure parts of our sporting department in order to continue to grow and evolve as a club,” said MNUFC CEO Chris Wright.
“Making these moves now prepares us for what’s ahead as we further develop the vision for our academy, a potential reserve team and the enhancement of our training facility. All of this demands an incredible amount of thought, planning and focus. We all believe this restructure will give us that.”Chris Wright – MNUFC CEO
2019 was the most successful season in club history. The Loons made it all the way to the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final. MNUFC also qualified for the playoffs for the first time in club history, even hosting a playoff game.
Lagos has been with the team since January 2010, as the head coach of Minnesota United. He was the head coach for six seasons, winning the 2011 NASL championship. He was named Sporting Director in January 2016. Lagos will continue to oversee the club’s sporting department, but he will have an increased focus on the development of the MNUFC Academy, the club’s second team and the developing sports science and medicine department.
Watson will be taking over the technical director duties for the first team. Responsibilities will include first team scouting department to contract negotiations and overall roster development. Watson has played for several MLS teams, including the Seattle Sounders, Vancouver Whitecaps and D.C. United. Watson was the head coach of the San Jose Earthquakes before joining Orlando City.
Stacey Hardin is now responsible for the club’s Performance Team, which includes strength and conditioning, data science, sports medicine, nutrition and adjunct therapies. Hardin has been the head athletic trainer ahead of the 2018 season.