Adrian Heath

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Loons’ Toye reportedly sent off for spitting on opponent

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FC Dallas’ wild 5-3 defeat of Minnesota United ended in disappointing fashion, as in-form Loons youngster Mason Toye made headlines for ugly reasons in Texas.

Toye, 20, was kept off the score sheet in the loss, but put his name in the discipline column when he reportedly spit on Reggie Cannon.

[ MORE: Schweinsteiger scores winner ]

Cannon, who had scored in the game and was playing with strep throat, was given a yellow card for taking off his spit-garnished shirt and attempting to remove the stain.

“I wasn’t angry – well obviously, I was angry but I wasn’t fighting with the refs,” Cannon said. “No, I got spit on. It was snot and everything on my shirt, so I took it off to wipe it off.”

Well, presumably that yellow will be rescinded.

It’s difficult to see the incident on the video, which shows Toye grow frustrated as FC Dallas players doing their level best to stop the striker from placing the ball at midfield and restarting play following a stoppage time goal from the hosts (It’s no excuse for spitting, but what took the officials so long to get in the mix. Were they watching “Braveheart?”).

There’s the unique chance to see Minnesota boss Adrian Heath react to being told his player spat on someone around the 1:18 mark of this video, as the manager asked the sideline reporter what happened and it doesn’t take much to lip read the response.

Seems like Minnesota won’t have its talented young striker for a while. Will his suspension include the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final in Atlanta later this month?

Minnesota United adds third Designated Player

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The Loons have added a new midfielder, signing Jan Gregus to a Designated Player contract.

Gregus, 27, comes to Minnesota United from FC Copenhagen, where he has two goals and an assist in 34 appearances across all competitions this season.

[ MORE: Top PL storylines, Week 18 ]

The 22-times capped Slovakian international has also played for Banik Ostrava, Jablonec, FC Nitra, and Bolton Wanderers (though he only played for the U-23 side during his loan).

Here’s what Loons coach Adrian Heath has to say about Gregus. From MNUFC.com:

“The one thing that sticks out is his composure on the ball. He’s got a great range of passes, both short and long. He has a great stride to goal, and an imposing stature at 6 foot 3 inches. The fact that he’s in his pomp — what we consider his prime — we think we have acquired him at the right time in his career. We know we’ve got excellent attacking pieces on the roster, but we need to be able to supply the ball to those pieces and we feel that Jan can be the supplier and connector from the midfield to the attack.”

Minnesota United name Adrian Heath new head coach

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Ahead of their arrival into Major League Soccer in 2017, Minnesota United has announced they have a new head coach: Adrian Heath.

Heath, 55, will lead United in their inaugural season in MLS, and he is no stranger to coaching an expansion franchise.

Heath takes over from Englishman Carl Craig who led Minnesota to fifth place in their final season in the North American Soccer League (NASL) before the move to MLS.

Heath took charge of Orlando City SC in 2010 and led them to MLS after dominating the USL (they won three Commissioners Cups in four seasons).

Although he was eventually dismissed from his position midway through the 2016 MLS season, his legacy at Orlando remains as he helped develop a true soccer culture in the the Floridian city and pretty much helped set up the club from scratch after it moved from Austin, Texas in 2010.

Now he has the chance to do something very similar with Minnesota and is very excited about doing so, alongside sporting director Manny Lagos.

“I’ve known Manny for a long time and he’s always spoke so fondly about what’s going on in Minnesota, and obviously when the job became available I spoke to Manny and jumped at the chance,” Heath said. “The most important thing for me is they have a project and a real plan in place. Dr. McGuire and this club have big ambitions, you look at the stadium that’s going to be built in a couple of years, all incredible things to look forward to, but my job now is to make sure that we’re competitive from day one. All of those other things are going to be great but it’s what’s going on on the field that’s most important and that’s where I’m going to be focusing my energy toward in the next two months.”

United will begin play in MLS in 2017 at the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium, but their own soccer specific stadium is on the way in Midway and should be ready for the start of the 2018 season.

Minnesota joins MLS in 2017 along with another expansion franchise, Atlanta United, taking the number of MLS clubs to 22.

Conflicting reports list Heath, Savarese as top coaching targets for Minnesota United

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With the club’s entrance into Major League Soccer looming, there are conflicting reports swirling around regarding one team’s manager situation.

[ MORE: NYCFC has flexible future after cutting ties with Lampard ]

Minnesota United will officially join MLS in 2017, but the team has yet to name a head coach with less than four months to go until kick off.

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Various names have been floated about when it comes to the Loons and their next manager, but it appears that Adrian Heath and Giovanni Savarese could be the strongest candidates available, according to separate reports.

Empire of Soccer is reporting that former Orlando City manager Heath is in the lead to become Minnesota’s leader as the club transitions into MLS. Meanwhile, FiftyFive.One is contradicting that report, stating that New York Cosmos boss Savarese is very likely to be named the team’s manager.

Heath has been out of coaching since been sacked by Orlando during the 2016 MLS season. The Englishman was replaced by long-time MLS veteran player turned coach Jason Kreis, who finished out the campaign in charge for the Lions.

Savarese is fresh off of a third NASL championship with the Cosmos, with the team lifting its most recent title on Sunday night after taking down Indy Eleven in a penalty shootout. According to FiftyFive.One, the Cosmos have confirmed that Minnesota has yet to reach out to the NASL side to negotiate terms for a contract.

The Loons finished the 2016 NASL season in eighth place and missed out on the playoffs. The club was managed by Carl Craig, who led the team to a record of 12-8-14 in his 34 matches in charge.

Orlando City fires Adrian Heath, only manager in club history

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This truly will be something new for fans of Orlando City SC.

The Lions have cut ties with longtime boss Adrian Heath, the manager who shepherded the club into its first season in USL and later Major League Soccer.

[ MLS: Weekend Preview — Home teams hold serve? ]

Assistant coach Bobby Murphy and Orlando City B assistant coach Anthony Pulis take the helm on an interim basis.

The team announced the move in an open letter from owner Phil Rawlins, which began:

Today is a very sad day for everyone associated with Orlando City and for me personally, as we agree to the mutual release of my good friend and our Head Coach for the past eight years, Adrian Heath.

As a Board, we believe that we have reached a tipping point in our Club’s history where we must evaluate, learn and make difficult decisions. Decisions that are designed to continue our progression as a Major League Club.

Orlando missed the playoffs by five points in its debut MLS season, but is currently on pace to make the playoffs on points-per-game.