Minnesota United have appointed Damian Roden as the club’s first senior director of sporting science, it was announced Wednesday. 

Roden joins Minnesota after being the director of performance at renowned Belgian side RSC Anderlecht. He’s enjoyed previous stays with the Seattle Sounders, across England's Premier League and at Wales' national team.

“With the goal of continuing to push all channels of the sporting side to grow and build our club to the highest level possible, Damian is an important hire to lead MNUFC and our sports science department,” Manny Lagos, Minnesota’s chief soccer officer, said in a release. “In addition to the first team, Damian will oversee our youth development programming of our elite amateur athletes and future reserve team players.”

Roden's time in England included stops with Stoke City, Bolton Wanderers, Blackburn Rovers and Manchester City. He spent two years with Seattle, then helped his home country of Wales climb the international rankings. 

“I’ve followed Minnesota United and the club’s incredible growth and success on and off the field over the years. MNUFC has evolved into one of the premier clubs in MLS,” Roden said in a release. “I would love to be a part of another MLS Cup and that is why I am here, to bring my expertise to the sports science department and help our athletes be the best they can be.”

Roden describes his philosophy as being “every player, fit for selection, every game.” Working under Sam Allardyce, he first implemented that professionally at Bolton Wanderers.

Minnesota open their 2021 MLS season April 16 at the Seattle Sounders, Roden’s former employer.

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