Minnesota United Academy U15 head coach Peter McDonnell has been named as a participant in the 2023-24 elite formation coaching license

Minnesota United and Major League Soccer announced today that MNUFC Academy U15 head coach Peter McDonnell has been selected to participate in the 2023-24 Elite Formation Coaching License (EFCL). McDonnell will join 25 other MLS coaches in the EFCL program in partnership with the French Football Federation (FFF).

“This is the fifth generation of that from our league and everyone I’ve spoken to and who’s been there has only wonderful things to say about the learning experience, the collaboration between other MLS NEXT coaches or academy directors and what she’s been in bring player development at a younger age to their academies as much as possible,” said Peter McDonnell, MNUFC Academy U15 Head Coach. “The experience you will have by staying close to established academies like Toulouse [FC] Academy – which I’ll be diving into – will hopefully be something good to bring back to Minnesota.”

McDonnell joined MNUFC in 2021 after spending five years as an assistant coach at the University of Maine in NCAA Division 1 and as the director of coaching for Seacoast United North. McDonnell brings extensive experience to his role as head coach, having spent time with the Football Association of Ireland and the NPSL at both Copa FC and Seacoast United. He has lived in the USA since 2015 and has a master’s degree in kinesiology and sports education.

“Pete is an outstanding development coach who thinks deeply about the game, but more importantly about the players and their emotional, physical and tactical development,” said Amos Magee, vice president of youth development at Minnesota United. “Since Major League Soccer and the French Football Federation have partnered on this course, it has proven to be incredibly beneficial for some of our best young professional coaches in the country.”

This group of candidates, made available to MLS coaches in 2013, represents the fifth class of MLS to compete in the EFCL. Overall, the EFCL platform has played a critical role in the development of MLS Homegrown and the growth of multiple Head Coaches, Assistants and General Managers in MLS and MLS NEXT Pro.

One of the most prestigious and rigorous football coaching courses in the world, the EFCL will last a total of seven weeks over a period of 18 months (February 2023 – July 2024), starting on February 1st at the famous INF Clairefontaine outside Paris. After a week of sessions, the coaches will take part in club observations from February 8th to 15th, during which they will dive into many of Europe’s top teams for a week to observe the academy and player development system. Clubs participating 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 at two additional extended weekends during the 18 months at smaller regional camps for field instruction and candidate assessment.

Below are MLS candidates who will join the program over the next 18 months.


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