After Minnesota United retains its core players from the 2022 roster, the club will look to sign several young players in two different areas of the field.
The MNUFC are pursuing two centre-backs under 22 – the needed No. 1 position on the roster – and two U22 forwards, the Pioneer Press learned this week.
Loons No.1 centre-back Bakaye Dibassy, 33, has just suffered a ruptured quad tendon which ended his season in August and will delay his departure for the 2023 season. centre-backs Michael Boxall, 34, and Brent Kallman, 32, but did not retain the youngest replacements from last year – Nabi Kibunguchy and Callum Montgomery.
The names of the centre-backs’ targets are not yet known, nor whether they possess the profiles or assets to be the heir apparent to an important position along a team’s spine.
One of the forwards’ targets comes from South Korea, a country in which the club sees current and future potential. Moreover, Loons manager Adrian Heath and technical director Mark Watson have spent the last few weeks criss-crossing Europe focusing on reserve team games.
To attract these young recruits, the Loons will look to leverage the MLS Under-22 initiative, which allows MLS teams to sign younger players with lucrative contacts at reduced budget costs.
The Loons currently have two of the three U22 spots available on their list. Minnesota recruited South African striker Bongi Hlongwane this way last season.
The Loons also have two Restricted Designated Players (forwards Luis Amarilla and Mender Garcia), and the club has the option to buy out those two DP players using Targeted Allocation Money (TAM). But if MNUFC goes this route, it is more likely that only one of these two players will leave the DP ranks.
MNUFC will build its scouting department in the near future and appoint a replacement for Amos Magee, the former director of player personnel who took on an oversight role for the club’s development team, MNUFC2, and its youth academy. after the season. … Harrison Heath, who is Adrian’s son, will remain a scout with the club. … Hlongwane, now 22, scored twice for South Africa in a friendly against Mozambique on Thursday. … The Loons will open their 2023 training camp in Blaine on Jan. 6, a week earlier than their usual start dates. They will have trips to Central Florida and Indio, Calif., in mid-February. They will play in the Coachella Valley Invitational among 12 MLS clubs. … MLS has a record 36 players in the FIFA World Cup as of Sunday. Loons goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair will represent Canada and replace Milan Borjan. … MNUFC did not take a player in the first stage of the reinstatement process on Thursday; they could be active in the second stage on Tuesday. … The Loons have been encouraged by the pace of Dibassy’s rehabilitation this offseason at Clairefontaine, the headquarters of the French Football Federation. … Apple TV announced Wednesday that its new “MLS Season Pass” app, the way to watch games in 2023, will be available for $99 for the season and $79 for Apple TV+ subscribers. … Loons fans shouldn’t expect a Mexican Liga MX star club to feature in their group stage matches for the Premier Leagues Club from July 21 to August. 19 next season.