Minnesota United hires Barnsley FC’s Khaled El-Ahmad as chief soccer officer

Minnesota United has its next sporting director and chief soccer officer.

Wednesday, the club announced the hiring of Khaled El-Ahmad to fill the roles, which were opened after the organization moved Manny Lagos to be its first chief development officer and a senior technical advisor late last month.

El-Ahmad comes to Minnesota from Barnsley Football Club of the EFL League One. While he’s served as the CEO and sporting director for Barnsley since September 2021, he’s also previously held jobs supporting roster construction and recruitment for NYCFC, leading scouting for City Football Group, heading up recruitment efforts for Djurgården Elitfotboll AB of the Swedish Allsvenskan, and various technical staff and sporting roles.

The 42-year-old played collegiately for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

“Khaled is an outstanding fit for this role, and I am thrilled that he and his family made the decision to join our club. He has a tremendous background, a track record of success, exceptional technical vision, a leadership approach that matches our club values and beliefs, and an energy and focus about him that I personally love,” MNUFC CEO Shari Ballard said in announcing the hire. “We can’t wait to work with him as we begin the next chapter for Minnesota United.”

“I am excited to embark on this journey with Minnesota United in my new role as Chief Soccer Officer and Sporting Director,” El-Ahmad said in a prepared statement. “I would like to express my gratitude to everyone at Minnesota United for entrusting me with this opportunity. As we chart our course ahead, I am eagerly anticipating helping this club excel on the field and joining in the profoundly positive impact we can have on the community. From the very first conversation I had with Shari it was clear that we share a deep connection in terms of our values, our vision for the club’s future, the significance of community involvement, and the upcoming chapter in Minnesota United’s history. However, above all else, I am most excited about the opportunity to engage with the fans. Your passion and support is of the highest level and I look forward to embarking on this journey with you.”

Minnesota United says El-Ahmad will join the club in the coming months.