Sean McAuley quit Friday as Minnesota United‘s interim head coach, seven weeks before the Loons’ Major League Soccer opener.
McAuley left to pursue other opportunities, the team said. Cameron Knowles was appointed interim coach after serving as coach of Minnesota’s reserve team in the third-tier MLS Next Pro the past two years.
Minnesota announced in December that McAuley would continue in the role of interim head coach heading into the 2024 season. However, in announcing McAuley’s departure, the club said its search for a permanent head coach “is underway.”
McAuley became interim coach when Adrian Heath was fired on Oct. 6 and led the Loons to a 5-2 win over the LA Galaxy and a 3-1 loss to Sporting Kansas City. Minnesota finished the league with 10 wins, 11 losses and 13 draws. The Loons were 11th in the Western Conference and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2018.
Heath had been Minnesota coach since the team started play in 2017. The team opens at Austin FC on Feb. 24.
Knowles, a native of New Zealand, was Minnesota’s video analyst in 2021 after nine seasons with the Portland Timbers that included six as an assistant and three as second-team coach.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.