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Minnesota United Academy U15 Head Coach Peter Mcdonnell Named as a 2023-24 Elite Formation Coaching License Participant

January 27, 2023 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
Minnesota United FC News Release


GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - Minnesota United and Major League Soccer today announced that MNUFC Academy U15 Head Coach Peter McDonnell has been selected as a 2023-24 Elite Formation Coaching License (EFCL) participant. McDonnell will join 25 other MLS-based coaches in the EFCL program in partnership with the French Football Federation (FFF).

"This is the fifth generation of it from our league and everybody that I've spoken to that have been around it have nothing but wonderful things to say about the learning experience, the collaboration between other MLS NEXT coaches or academy directors and what it has been able to bring to their academies as far as player development at younger ages," said MNUFC Academy U15 Head Coach Peter McDonnell. "The experience that's going to come from being around established academies such as Toulouse [FC] Academy - which I'm going to be immersed in - is hopefully going to be something good that I can bring back to Minnesota."

McDonnell joined MNUFC in 2021, after spending five years as the assistant coach at the University of Maine in NCAA Division 1 and the Director of Coaching for Seacoast United North. McDonnell brings vast experience to his head coach role having spent time working with the Football Association of Ireland and in NPSL at both FC Copa and Seacoast United. He has lived in the USA since 2015 and has a Masters degree in Kinesiology and Physical Education.

"Pete is an excellent developing coach that thinks deeply about the game, but more importantly the players and their emotional, physical and tactical development," said Minnesota United Vice President of Youth Development Amos Magee. "Since Major League Soccer and the French Football Federation started collaborating on this course, it's proven to be incredibly beneficial to some of our best, young, pro coaches in the country."

Made available to MLS coaches in 2013, this group of candidates represent the fifth class from MLS to take part in the EFCL. Overall, the EFCL platform has played a pivotal role in MLS Homegrown development and the growth of several head coaches, assistants, and general managers throughout MLS and MLS NEXT Pro.

One of the most highly regarded and rigorous soccer coaching courses in the world, the EFCL will run a total of seven weeks over an 18-month period (February 2023 - July 2024), which begins on February 1 at the famed INF Clairefontaine outside of Paris. After completing a week of sessions, coaches will participate in club observations from February 8-15, where they will be immersed within many top European teams for one week to observe the academy and player development system. Participating clubs include Arsenal (England), Le Havre AC (France), RC Lens (France), AS Monaco (France), FC Nantes (France), Stade Rennais (France), RC Strasbourg (France), Toulouse FC (France), and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim (Germany).

In addition to the seven-week commitment, McDonnell and the other candidates will meet in smaller regional camps for field instruction and candidate evaluation during two additional extended weekends over the 18 months.

Below are the candidates from MLS who will participate in the program over the next 18 months.

2023-24 Elite Formation Coaching License Candidates

Club Name Role

Atlanta United Will Bates U13 Head Coach

Charlotte FC Patrick Daka U13 Head Coach/Head of Development

Chicago Fire FC Selim Talbi U15 Head Coach

FC Cincinnati Tyrone Marshall MLS NEXT Pro Head Coach

Colorado Rapids Elliot Prost U17 Head Coach

Columbus Crew Eric Dutt U15 Head Coach

D.C. United Matt Arrington Director of Coaching

FC Dallas Adam Wells U15 Head Coach

Houston Dynamo FC Jeremy Hurdle U15 Head Coach

Sporting Kansas City Luis Pacheco U15 Head Coach

LA Galaxy Sam Al-Basith U13 Head Coach

LA Galaxy Benoit David U15 Head Coach

Inter Miami CF Pedro Cavalcanti U15 Head Coach

Minnesota United FC Peter McDonnell U15 Head Coach

Nashville SC Jason Boxx U15 Head Coach

New England Revolution Rob Becerra Academy Director

New England Revolution Liam Connors U14 Head Coach

New York City FC Michael Dal Pra U15 Head Coach

New York Red Bulls Jonathan Rhodes U17 Head Coach

Portland Timbers Shannon Murray MLS NEXT Pro Head Coach

Real Salt Lake Andrew May U17 Head Coach

San Jose Earthquakes Erin Ridley U15 Head Coach

San Jose Earthquakes Steven Sosa U17 Head Coach

Seattle Sounders FC Brayton Knapp U15 Head Coach

Vancouver Whitecaps FC Dan Fairhurst U15 Head Coach


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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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