Minnesota United keep Sean McAuley as interim head coach

Sean McAuley - Minnesota United

Sean McAuley will remain as interim head coach for Minnesota United FC heading into the 2024 MLS season, the club announced Tuesday.

In addition to McAuley, the remaining coaching staff will continue in their roles during 2024.

Once newly-appointed chief soccer officer and sporting director Khaled El-Ahmad arrives from English side Barnsley FC in January, he will determine the timing and lead the process of the head coach search. Initially, El-Ahmad was expected to arrive later in 2024.

“I am personally grateful for Sean’s leadership and his willingness to continue in this role,” Minnesota CEO Shari Ballard said in a release. “I have full confidence that he and our current staff are best positioned to successfully lead the team at this time given their collective coaching experience and familiarity with our players and club.”

McAuley, who is entering his sixth year with MNUFC, was named interim head coach with two games remaining in the 2023 MLS season after the club parted ways with longtime manager Adrian Heath. McAuley was previously an assistant coach with Orlando City SC and the Portland Timbers, bringing vast experience to the Loons.

Minnesota narrowly missed out on the Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs, finishing 11th in the Western Conference (41 points; 10W-13L-11D) after a Decision Day defeat at Sporting Kansas City. Upon declining Ménder García’s contract option, the Loons created an open Designated Player spot to potentially fill alongside stars Teemu Pukki and Emanuel Reynoso.