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Minnesota United FC Inks New Zealand International James Musa

Musa MNUFC_2020

Stone Sports Management, LLC (Columbus, Ohio) – January 17, 2020 

Stone Sports Management LLC (“SSM”) announces Minnesota United FC (“MNUFC”) signing of New Zealand International Defensive Midfielder James Musa for the 2020 MLS season. The 27-year old US Green Card holder joins the Loons after a successful two seasons with Phoenix Rising FC, including a 2019 season that saw Musa help them set North American record win streak (20 games), Wins (24) and Points (78) on its way to the USL Supporters Shield. Musa joins MNUFC after the club’s most successful MLS season, making the playoffs as the Western Conference’s #3 seed, and he brings championship experience and a winning mentality having won the US Open Cup, two USL Western Conference Championships and USL Supporters Shield in his last three seasons.


“It is an honor to join Minnesota United FC and extremely grateful to Adrian Heath, Mark Watson and the entire organization for this opportunity to return to MLS,” remarked Musa. “The club’s culture and goals align with mine, and I expect to help the club compete for trophies and make the Twin Cities proud every time I put on the jersey. I cannot wait to start working with my new teammates, learning from the coaching staff and developing relationships within the community. The home support is some of the best in North America and looking forward to sing Wonderwall often in front of the fans at Allianz Arena!”


The left-footed Musa is expected to join one of MLS’ best Central Midfield pairings in MLS’ Team of the Decade Osvaldo Alonso and Slovakian International Jan Gregus as well as 2019 MLS Rookie of the Year candidate Hassani Dotson. Musa’s versatility also allows Coach Heath to use him in defense either centrally or on the left. He joins former SKC teammate Ike Opara and fellow Kiwi Michael Boxall to help stabilize the defensive shape.

“James is one of them players who’s been in and out of the league and he’s been on that cusp of being in the league,” said MNUFC Head Coach Adrian Heath. “We had a good long chat with James because we’ve got the likes of Hassani Dotson, Jan Gregus, Ozzie Alonso in front of him — a really competitive area of the field — and he’s up for the challenge. Physically, he’s very imposing, very athletic. Really good personality, he’s very strong-willed and we think he’s going to come in and try to compete.”


The UK Passport holder will join his teammates next week at the opening of preseason camp. It will be Musa’s second MLS stint having previously been part of Sporting KC’s system in 2017 and early 2018.


Musa performed well in his MLS debut back in August 2017 against Alonso’s Seattle Sounders. Musa led Sporting KC in passes (78) and touches (84) before returning to Swope Park Rangers, earning MVP honors and helped the team claim the 2017 Western Conference Championship and back to back USL Cup appearances.


“This is a proud moment for James to return to MLS after proving himself as a winner and impact player with Phoenix these last two seasons while fulfilling his career plan to play at the highest level in North America,” says SSM’s President and USSF Licensed Intermediary Justin B. Stone. “James is ready for the challenge ahead and expect him to rise to the occasion to compete with a talented roster that looks to improve from their successful 2019 season. I wish James and the club well for the upcoming season.”

Musa started his United States career with Saint Louis FC joining them on a 2-year contract in its inaugural season. The club’s first Captain was a consistent starter (starting 27 games each season) and made an off-season loan to Team Wellington. Musa made his professional debut with Australian A-league outfit Wellington Phoenix during the 2010-11 season and would later sign with Waitakere City helping them to the Finals and earned a U20 New Zealand World Cup selection.

After impressing during the 2012 London Olympics, Musa signed with Fulham FC and spent time on loan to Conference club Hereford. In the 2013-14 season, Musa returned to New Zealand with Team Wellington of the ASB Premiership (2013/14 season) and led the club to the Grand Finals and Oceania Champions League birth. He then signed w/South Melbourne FC for 2-years and was a backline staple.

Watch the below video to see Musa in action for Phoenix Rising during the 2019 season and make sure to follow James on Instagram: musa41. Congratulations to James Musa and make sure to follow him this season by clicking on MNUFC’s 2020 schedule HERE.



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