TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Signings
Minnesota United FC have signed midfielder Justin McMaster and center back Nabilai Kibunguchy, their 2021 MLS SuperDraft first-round picks, to one-year contracts with three option years, it was announced Saturday.
McMaster was selected No. 17 overall out of Wake Forest, while Kibunguchy was picked No. 18 overall out of UC Davis.
“They’ve mixed straight away with the first team players, they’re both confident in their own ability, they’ve not been on the back foot,” head coach Adrian Heath said in a release. “We think there’s a lot of growth there. They’ve got to start bringing it every day now, it’s not a three-month season like it is in college. Expectations are higher, expectations from us, every single day are going to be higher than they’ve been used to. But we like them and it’s a great opportunity for them.”
While at Wake Forest, McMaster had 12 goals and eight assists in 58 games across four seasons. The 21-year-old has featured for several Jamaican youth national teams and developed in the Philadelphia Union’s academy.
“It’s always been a dream of mine to sign professional and with Minnesota, I’ve enjoyed it a lot,” McMaster said in a release. “I’ve been enjoying the team, getting used to it over here. I was really excited to sign, my family was really proud. It was a really, really good moment for me. I’m a young guy and I’m adapting to the intensity but it’s really good so far, I feel very welcomed. The older guys try to help and bring me under their wing.”
Kibunguchy played in 52 games at UC Davis across four seasons, earning All-Big West Conference First Team honors in 2019. He’s also played for the US U-19 men’s national team.
“The feeling of all my hard work the last 23 years of life, it paid off and I was just excited. That moment was like nothing other,” Kibunguchy said in a release. “I called my parents right away. They are in Kenya and came down for the draft, but it was good to call them and finally tell them I finally got signed.”