It’s kind of hard to believe, but Minnesota United’s preseason training begins in just three days. The Loons will be at the National Sports Center in Blaine on Friday, assuming that they all can fight through the snowdrifts to get there. They’re doing a week in Minnesota, two in Florida, another week here, and then heading to California for what’s been dubbed the Coachella Valley Invitational, where they’re currently scheduled to play three games:
- Saturday, February 11, 3pm CT against New York RB
- Wednesday, February 15, 2pm CT against San Jose Earthquakes
- Saturday, February 18, noon CT against Vancouver Whitecaps
With this in mind, here’s a look at what the Loons have done this offseason, just to refresh your memory.
In contract news, the team picked up the options for d-mid Wil Trapp, fullback DJ Taylor, and young striker prospect Tani Oluwaseyi. They also re-signed midfieler Joseph Rosales and depth goalkeeper Eric Dick.
The Loons traded $75,000 in cap space to the LA Galaxy for 20-year-old forward Cameron Dunbar, who has played mostly in the USL Championship. (They also traded a third-round pick, which went unused.)
In new signings, the Loons inked a pair of veterans, signing backup goalkeeper Clint Irwin (133 MLS starts) and backup fullback Zarek Valentin (170 MLS starts). They also claimed center back Doneil Henry off waivers from Toronto, giving them another backup defender with MLS experience.
In the MLS SuperDraft, Minnesota selected fullback Ryen Jiba, who played last season for third-division Union Omaha, and winger Emmanuel Iwe, who played last year for MNUFC2.
Meanwhile, they declined options for Abu Danladi, Jacori Hayes, Niko Hansen, Oniel Fisher, Nabi Kibunguchy, Justin McMaster, Tyler Miller, Romain Métanire, and Callum Montgomery.
Also, the loan deal for midfielder Jonathan González ended, but the club is still hopeful of bringing him back for another season.
This offseason’s controversy looks a lot like last season’s. Intrepid Pioneer Press reporter Andy Greder reported that Emanuel Reynoso may go on trial after all for an alleged assault last winter. We should know more in the coming days, but for now, Reynoso’s status is again in limbo, heading into the preseason.
Goalkeeper: Dayne St. Clair, Clint Irwin, Eric Dick, Fred Emmings (Homegrown)
Defender: Michael Boxall, Bakaye Dibassy (will begin season on IR), DJ Taylor, Brent Kallman, Kemar Lawrence, Doneil Henry, Zarek Valentin, Ryen Jiba* (*not signed yet), Alan Benítez, Devin Padelford (HG)
Defensive Midfield: Hassani Dotson, Kervin Arriaga, Wil Trapp, Joseph Rosales
Attacking Midfield: Emanuel Reynoso, Robin Lod
Forward: Franco Fragapane, Luis Amarilla, Bongokuhle Hlongwane, Ménder García, Tani Oluwaseyi, Patrick Weah (HG), Cameron Dunbar (HG), Emmanuel Iwe* (*not signed yet)