Minnesota came into the 2016 NASL season as heavy favorites to make some noise. A flurry of injuries and suspensions kept the club from getting a lot of momentum, ultimately missing the playoffs in the league’s final week. Still, Carl Craig’s men found some success, finishing fifth in the final table. Meanwhile, two Loons were honored in the league’s Best XI, and there were other notable individual performances along the way.
The Loons’ all-time minutes leader continued to add to that tally in 2016. Davis had a goal and an assist, starting 31 games for United. Davis worked with a rotating cast in front of him on the wing, a shuffle that limited his offensive output. In return, Davis had possibly his strongest defensive season to date, and was an NASL Best XI honoree. He was also on the shortlist for Golden Ball.
The Woodbury native had a breakout year for United. At 26, Kallman made 31 straight appearances for the Loons after missing the season opener with a toe injury. He was one of the most consistent defenders in the NASL, with strong positioning and a tireless motor. On a backline ravaged by injuries and inconsistent play, Kallman was a standout.
Ramirez closed out his three-year NASL stay with another dominating offensive performance. He claimed his second NASL Golden Boot by scoring 18 goals. He also added 4 assists. Ramirez earned his third NASL Best XI nod in the process, as well as making the shortlist for the NASL Golden Ball.
Cruz was a staple of the United lineup, working with full backs Kevin Venegas and Jeb Brovsky to lock down the right side of the park. Ibson lit the park on fire when he was in the lineup, using his motor to carve opposing defenses. Watson, meanwhile, came back from an ACL injury to score 2 goals and add an assist for United in the fall.
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