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Minnesota United Adds Damian Roden as Senior Director of Sports Science

March 31, 2021 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Minnesota United FC News Release


GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - Today Minnesota United announced it has hired Damian Roden as the club's first Senior Director of Sports Science. Roden joins the Loons following his role as Director of Performance at RSC Anderlecht.

"Incredibly excited to have Damian join Minnesota United," said Manny Lagos, MNUFC Chief Soccer Officer. "He has incredible experience and knowledge in the sports science industry. He has worked at some of the biggest clubs in Europe and has experienced the growth and potential of MLS with the Seattle Sounders. With the goal of continuing to push all channels of the sporting side to grow and build our club to the highest level possible, Damian is an important hire to lead MNUFC and our Sports Science department. In addition to the first team, Damian will oversee our Youth Development Programming of our elite amateur athletes and future reserve team players."

Damien Roden joins Minnesota United ahead of the 2021 season as the Senior Director of Sports Science. Roden is one of the most experienced and well-respected performance coaches to emerge from the English Premier League, having successfully implemented his philosophy at the highest levels for more than 15 years.

"I've followed Minnesota United and the club's incredible growth and success on and off the field over the years. MNUFC has evolved into one of the premier clubs in MLS," said Roden. "I would love to be a part of another MLS Cup and that is why I am here, to bring my expertise to the sports science department and help our athletes be the best they can be."

A native of Wales, Roden has lived a life of football, beginning with a playing career at his hometown club of Wrexham FC and Columbus FC in the USISL in the US. Following his playing career, his focus shifted to education and coaching.

He has completed his bachelor's degree in Sports Science & Coaching, a Master's Degree in Exercise & Nutrition Science and became one of the youngest coaches in the UK to gain the UEFA Pro License.

Following six years of working with the Football Association of Wales, where he helped transform the delivery of coach education, Damian was recruited to the sports science department at Bolton Wanderers FC by Sam Allardyce where he began to introduce his philosophy: "Every player, fit for selection, every game." Damian was then recruited as Head of Sports Science for both Blackburn Rovers FC and Manchester City FC by one of the most forward-thinking British coaches at the time, Mark Hughes, who, similar to Allardyce at Bolton, steered Rovers and City into European competition using the same methods.

In 2011, he became the Head of Performance for his home nation of Wales. Following an initial developmental period Wales became the most improved team in the FIFA World rankings, highlighting the progress made in sports science during his tenure. Wales went on to reach the semifinals of their first ever European tournament in 2016.

Roden returned to the Premier League and spent four years with Stoke City. With Roden as Head of Sports Science, Stoke had the fewest injuries of all Premier League teams and achieved the highest position and points total in the club's history of in the top flight for three consecutive seasons.

In his role as Director of High Performance at Seattle Sounders, the club won the Cascadia Cup two seasons in a row and were crowed MLS Champions. Similarly, during Damian's tenure the team recorded its highest points total and overall league position in years and the highest player availability in the club's history.

MNUFC returns to the pitch for its fifth season in MLS. Follow Minnesota United's social channels and check our website at mnufc.com for regular updates on the club.

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