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The Shortlist: Minnesota United Making Coaching Shortlist for MLS

by on 14 September 2016

On the training fields of Blaine, Minnesota United’s head coach Carl Craig has his mind on this weekend’s matchup with the Ottawa Fury; he has an NASL playoff berth to secure. But across town, eyes are turning toward a different goal, a different trophy, and a different league. Sporting Director Manny Lagos has begun putting together a list of potential candidates to be the team’s first head coach in MLS next year.

Jeff Carlisle reported today: “Among the names on Minnesota’s preliminary list is former Orlando City manager Adrian Heath, as well as current New England Revolution assistant and former D.C. United manager Tom Soehn. The source added that no formal interviews have taken place.”

FiftyFive.One can confirm that the list is very preliminary at this point, but that it will be whittled down to a shortlist, and interviews will likely take place in the coming months. San Jose Earthquakes head coach Dominic Kinnear is also one of the names on that list of candidates.

Minnesota’s current head coach Carl Craig is still in contention for the position, though, as Carlisle reports and our source confirmed, MLS experience is being valued highly.

The timeline for the decision is unclear at this time, but it is very likely that soon after the NASL playoffs in November the Loons will be turning their full attention to roster building for 2017. Having a coach installed early in that process will be a high priority.

Carl Craig, who is under contract through 2017, has always been in a tenuous position with the club. Craig’s announcement as head coach came as something of an afterthought in the unveiling of Manny Lagos as Sporting Director. There has always been a cloud over whether or not Craig would be given more than just the interim year.

Asked recently about going to the end of the season with uncertainly, Craig said, “Every coach has a little sense of last chance saloon.” But he also added, “I fully expect to be head coach next year.”

Craig, of course, knows that in order to make his case, he will need to produce with his squad. At the beginning of the season, Craig had said, “I think it’s a fair assumption to say that we’ve gotta win something. I believe it’s not necessarily win it all but we’ve gotta get to the final.”

For now, Carl Craig and the Loons will have to get back to work, no matter what’s happening behind the scenes.

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