Miguel Ibbara

Last summer, Miguel Ibarra was the opposition in a Minnesota United summer friendly. Photo by Jeremy Olsen - www.digitalgopher.com

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Minnesota United Trades Attinella to Portland; Signals Pursuit of Ibarra

by on 20 December 2016

Minnesota has traded goalkeeper Jeff Attinella to the Portland Timbers. In return, the Loons will acquire a second-round selection in the 2018 SuperDraft. Along with the pick, United will gain the discovery rights to former Loon Miguel Ibarra.

Minnesota United acquired Attinella in the fourth round of last Tuesday’s Expansion Draft. The former RSL man served as Nick Rimando’s primary backup from 2013-2016, starting 28 games along the way. FiftyFive.One first learned of the trade talks last Friday, and later in the day caught wind that the rights to Miguel Ibarra were part of the deal.

Minnesota’s announcement today neglected to mention Ibarra’s rights, but these are still part of the deal. Since the SuperDraft pick is a minor consideration, Ibarra’s rights here appear to be the largest prize. This makes it very likely that the Loons are serious in their pursuit of their former star.

Portland first acquired the rights to Ibarra in the lead-up to the 2016 MLS season, as the Timbers looked to bring the winger in on loan. However, the deal fell through and Ibarra stayed with Club Leon. Since his transfer from United to Leon in 2015, Ibarra has featured in just 8 matches. He has scored once for the Liga MX side.

United has plenty of time to acquire a starting goalkeeper before their inaugural MLS campaign. Players like Steve Clark and Zac MacMath are still readily available for acquisition. It’s likely that Manny Lagos, Amos Magee, and Adrian Heath have been scouting goalkeepers on their trips to Scandanavia, South America, and Costa Rica. While Attinella has long been seen as a potential starter, his lack of playing time made him far from a sure thing.

The future SuperDraft choice could be a valuable commodity in itself. United traded their third round selection for center back Joseph Greenspan earlier this month. Of course, the potential crown jewel of this return would be finalizing a deal with Ibarra. By acquiring his rights, United appears to be well on their way to bringing him back.

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