Minnesota United FC are expected to announce that they’ve signed defenders Justin Davis and Kevin Venegas to MLS contracts in the coming weeks, according to Minnesota soccer site FiftyFive.One.
Davis and Venegas have been mainstays with Minnesota in NASL. According to the FiftyFive.One’s report, they’ll both make the jump to MLS with the team in 2017.
Both Davis, 28, and Venegas, 27, were drafted by MLS clubs out of college. Davis was selected in the second round of the 2010 SuperDraft by Real Salt Lake and Venegas was picked in in the 2012 Supplemental Draft by Chivas USA, though neither survived their initial preseason in MLS.
Davis joined Minnesota ahead of the 2011 season and has been a mainstay at left back ever since, twice earning NASL Best XI honors and twice being nominated for the Golden Ball award given to the NASL MVP. Venegas signed with Minnesota in 2012 and turned himself into a full-time starter at right back, earning NASL Best XI honors in 2015. The club, which declined to comment for the FiftyFive.One report, announced in January that they had signed both Davis and Venegas to long-term contracts.
According to FiftyFive.One, Minnesota were hoping to make a head coaching announcement before revealing that they had signed Davis and Venegas. Carl Craig managed the team this year, though the club – which missed the NASL playoffs – is reported to be interested in other candidates, including former Seattle Sounders manager Sigi Schmid, Sporting KC assistant Kerry Zavagnin and New York Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese.