ST. PAUL – Amos Magee returns to base.
After serving as Minnesota United’s director of player personnel since the start of its MLS era in 2017, Magee will transition to oversee MNUFC’s youth development program, the club announced on Wednesday. The St. Paul native will continue building MNUFC’s youth development academy and its reserve team, MNUFC2.
Magee will leave his position in the Loons’ front office in scouting and recruiting, which has seen him regularly travel overseas in search of MLS talent. This department, which is led by manager Adrian Heath and technical director Mark Watson, does not plan to make a corresponding addition to its staff, Pioneer Press has learned.
Magee, 51, called himself a ‘graduate’ of an informal youth journey which as a player took him from St. Paul Academy to college football to Division III Wesleyan University and then to clubs Minnesota Thunder and MLS Tampa Bay Mutiny and Chicago Fire. Magee coached the Thunder from 2006 to 2008 and held front-office roles with the Portland Timbers and DC United before returning to Minnesota. Last year, Magee interviewed for DC’s then-vacant general manager position.
Magee took on the new role after discussions with CEO Shari Ballard and director of football Manny Lagos. Magee was used to working in the first-team space but was open to a change. His new official title will be Vice President of Youth Development, with Noel Quinn continuing as Director of Youth Development.
“The more I thought about whether to build something that lasts, beyond (an MLS roster) of 18 and 30 players (and) last for many years after for Minnesota, and for Minnesota football players , which I consider a graduate of, so it made sense,” Magee said in an interview.
The Loons have youth teams at the Under-15, Under-17 and Under-19 levels and up to MNUFC2, which debuted in 2022. MNUFC2’s MLS NEXT Pro league kicked off the last season, with Magee managing roster build in a fledgling league format.
The Loons second team had a roster of players from three groups – academy players moving up the development ladder, outside players signed to join MNUFC2 and MLS first team players moving down to receive more playing time Magee said the academy levels are improving and could be a bigger part of the MNUFC2 roster in the years to come.
“I think our academic group will be stronger going forward,” Magee said of a system that has been disbanded during the pandemic. “We are in a year (with MNUFC2). I think our U19 group is better than the previous one, or more advanced than the previous group. I think the group of 17 is more advanced, our group of 15 is miles ahead. So I think we will have more players filtering into this group.
A main goal is to develop young players to the point where they sign local contracts with MNUFC and then play in MLS. So far, the Loons have had three Minnesota players under contract – St. Paul goaltender Fred Emmings, Maple Grove forward Patrick Weah and Maplewood defenseman Devin Padelford. Weah made his MLS debut on the bench in a game in 2021.
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