TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Signing
Minnesota United have signed the club's first Homegrown player, the club announced Wednesday.
The Loons have inked goalkeeper Fred Emmings to a Homegrown deal. The 15-year-old is a product of the MNUFC Academy and currently plays with the U-15 MNUFC squad. He began his soccer career as a striker but as he grew, his size gave his coaches a reason to move him to goalkeeper. At 6-foot-5 and with a dynamic style of play, Emmings earned a spot on the Development Academy in the summer of 2017 and spent the majority of the summer of 2019 training with the first team.
“I’m sure Fred is excited. It’s a great milestone for the kid, he’ll always be known as Minnesota United’s first Homegrown Player which is quite nice,” said head coach Adrian Heath in a statement. “If you see Fred, he’s a huge kid, our goalkeeper coach think he’s got a huge upside. He’s trained with the first team and he’s done terrific when you consider he’s 15 going on 16. He knows this is just the beginning for him. He’s got a long, long way to go. In goalkeeping terms, he’s a baby, but god willing he stays injury free, we feel he’s got a really bright future. But that’s what it is, a future. He’s got a lot to learn but he’s got a lot of natural tools to become a top-class goalkeeper.”
Emmings was evidently present at Minnesota's opening training session for 2020 on Monday, as he can be seen briefly at the end of a promotional video the club posted on its official Twitter account, standing in front of a locker baring his nameplate.
Freddy's ready... pic.twitter.com/DcaBHuFOfj— Minnesota United FC (@MNUFC) January 22, 2020
“It’s every kid’s dream to sign a professional contract, especially at this young of an age,” said Emmings. “I’m really fortunate and thankful for everyone who’s helped me – my friends and family. I’m really looking forward to putting in the work and trying to get on the field as soon as I can.”
Internationally, Emmings has been invited to train with two youth national teams. He was invited by the US U-15 national team to January training camp in 2018, and worked on set positions, angles and improving his goalkeeping skills. In 2019, Emmings spent two weeks with the U-16 Luxembourg national team. With a dual Luxembourg/United States citizenship, the opportunity to play both European and American soccer places him in a unique pool of players who are called up for international duty by their home countries throughout the season.
The youngster joins a Minnesota goalkeeping unit that just added former LAFC man Tyler Miller as its presumptive starter, as well as waiver draft selection Greg Ranjitsingh and 2019 SuperDraft pick Dayne St. Clair. Last year's starter Vito Mannone departed the club during the offseason after he was unable to come to terms with Minnesota on a new contract.