MNUFC2 is set to travel to Choctaw Stadium in Arlington, Texas to take on North Texas SC in their inaugural MLS NEXT Pro match tonight at 8 pm CT.
The Loons second-team affiliate has signed nine players to MLS NEXT Pro contracts, with multiple fringe first-team players set to get minutes with the squad, too.
The introduction of MLS NEXT Pro is going to present opportunities for young men all across the world, with the league bringing in players from all around the world to create their rosters. With an average age league-wide of 20.08 years, the “play your kids” mantra finally has a home.
MNUFC2 enters the league tied with the Tacoma Defiance for the oldest roster in the league, with an average age of 23 years.
With a bulk of young talent signed to the roster, partnered with first-team fringe players, the Loons have the potential to bring out one of the more talented sides in the league. MLS veterans like Abu Danladi and Jacori Hayes will have opportunities for minutes while newcomers like Tani Oluwaseyi and Devin Padelford will look to leave their mark on the pitch.
Where to watch:
All matches are going to be able to stream for FREE on MLSNEXTPro.com all season long
Players to watch:
- Devin Padelford
- The Loons newest homegrown signing has been touted as a top prospect by first-team players and manager Adrian Heath. The versatile attacking-minded left back
- Aziel Jackson
- The Loons hometown product made the bench twice in 2021, but was eventually loaned out to USL League 1 club North Carolina FC in August and made 12 appearances for the club, scoring once and adding three assists
- Emmanuel Iwe
- The Minnesota native was the only player signed to MNUFC2 following the MNUFC combine in January. Iwe played High School soccer in St. Louis Park and went on to take the pitch with St. Cloud State before joining the Loons
- Tani Oluwaseyi
- The Loons 2021 first round Superdraft pick has an impressive college resume with 20 goals and 10 assists in 49 appearances (while starting only 20/49). He should come in and start up top for the Loons in an attempt to get his Loons career underway
- Fred Emmings
- The Loons homegrown product is a towering figure in net, standing 6-foot-5 at just 18-years-old. He is a dual-national, with both the United States and Luxembourg.
Starting XI Prediction:
- Goalkeeper: Fred Emmings
- Left back: Devin Padelford
- Centerback: Callum Montgomery
- Centerback: CC Uche
- Right back: DJ Taylor
- CDM: Nabilai Kibunguchy
- CDM: Jacori Hayes
- Right Wing: Justin McMaster
- Attacking Midfielder: Aziel Jackson
- Left Wing: Emmanuel Iwe
- Striker: Tani Oluwaseyi