News

Minnesota United Close to Landing Vadim Demidov

by on 6 January 2017

The rumor mill keeps on churning for Minnesota United. The expansion side has added many crucial parts in the last two weeks. Now, they’re close to adding another: Norwegian international Vadim Demidov.

Sources confirmed to FiftyFive.One that Vadim Demidov is in advanced talks with the club to join in January.

The thirty-year-old Demidov has a reputation as a smart and aggressive player. In 2016, he played as a center back with Bergen side SK Brann and could figure into Adrian Heath’s rotation there. However, he also has extensive experience as a defensive midfielder, including in some of the best leagues in Europe.

Born to Russian parents in modern-day Latvia, and moved to Norway as a young child, he first made his name as a regular for Tippeligaen side Hønefoss, starting at age 18. He secured a move to Norwegian giants Rosenborg in 2008, starting 79 matches in three years.

Demidov’s success earned attention across Europe, and he eventually moved around between Real Sociedad, Eintracht Frankfurt, and Celta Vigo from 2011-2013 before returning back to Norway to play for Brann in 2014. There, he’s served as the club’s captain, guiding the club to promotion back to the Tippeligaen for the 2016 campaign. He also has 16 caps with the Norwegian men’s national team.

On the field, the 6’2″ defender/midfielder has been described as “very brave” by those who have seen him play. Not the quickest or the strongest, Demidov is a smart tackler and a good mark. He’s good in the air defensively and is particularly good at clearing the ball with his head.

A natural fit

Kristan Heneage (FourFourTwo, YahooUK, ESPNFC) has watched Demidov quite a bit over the last decade. To him, installing him alongside Mohammed Saeid in the midfield is a no-brainer.

“I prefer Demidov at CDM, especially in a league like MLS. Demidov isn’t really a physical presence, and I could see him being bullied by some forwards in MLS — Cyle Larin springs to mind. As a CB, I draw comparisons to Nicolai Naess of Columbus, but Nicolai is taller and stronger than Demidov. At least at CDM, you have the benefit of his good passing and vision, but also someone that is a good defender at heart. He’d give the team a bit of bite in the position and free up attackers to do more.”

If signed, he would continue the trend of savvy, non-Designated Player acquisitions after Calvo, Johan Venegas, Miguel Ibarra, and Christian Ramirez. Playing in the midfield, he would fit an Adrian Heath system to the letter. Players like Venegas and Ibarra have shone brightest when given freedom to maneuver. Demidov would be a crucial part to allow for that.

Minnesota United’s spokesperson was “busy eating pizza and couldn’t confirm Demidov.”

Wes Burdine contributed to this report.

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  • itsallgood013

    God I love this team. “Busy eating pizza and can’t confirm Demidov” is the greatest no comment in the history of no comments.

    • John Herman

      Wait – the actual spokesperson actually said that? Fantastic.

      Partly because they’re probably not going to be in a joking mood if they don’t have good news in the somewhat near future.

  • John Herman

    Nice. That’s another big roster piece clicked in. Hopefully he can be a steadying presence as the team adapts to the league and gels.

  • Blake Johnson

    Love that it wouldn’t be a DP signing. Seems like a good bit of business for the Loons.

    Any rumblings about potential DP signings before the draft/preseason ramp up?

    • Jeff Rueter

      Still digging. Guys like Ibarra, Calvo, and (to a lesser extent) Demidov could’ve been DPs in theory. Especially once you factor in transfer fees. The fact that all of them are non-designated is more impressive to me than a DP.

      • Blake Johnson

        Very true. Still crossing my fingers for a Tim Ream and/or Cody Cropper signing.
        Appreciate the effort you and the other writers put in. New to the site as of a month or two ago, now checking back daily.

        • Jeff Rueter

          I wouldn’t bank on Ream coming here (his agent told me that the idea idea of them talking is “completely false, 100% fiction). Cropper also seems unlikely, as New England left their usual starter unprotected in the Exp Draft.

          Really appreciate the feedback. It’s good to have active comment sections on here.

          • Chuck Booth

            Yeah I reached out to Ream’s agent too and they basically nullified any chances of Ream coming to MLS at this time.

    • John Herman

      Good call, we’ve had some really good, non-DP signings already. At this point, there are only so many spots left to fill without having to pay someone a lot of money to sit on the bench–CB (or CDM?), RM, GK, and FB. Let’s just assume it won’t be a fullback or GK. And the only players with trade value that haven’t been marketed already are Warner and Saeid (though I really like Saeid), so maybe CM too if one of them is the major trade piece that brings us Yueill (I’m really getting my expectations up on him if you can’t tell). So CB, RM, and possibly a CM.

      I don’t think we’re signing 3 DPs before the season starts, but signing 2 that fill those spots would be pretty slick. I feel like our non-DP portion of the roster already measures up well against that of previous expansion teams. If you plug in a Kaka-level player, for example, I think we’re already better than expansion Orlando’s starting II.

  • Alex Schieferdecker

    The couple people I’ve heard from about this have said he’s a good player. He’s played against some of the best in Europe, so that’s exciting.

    I think the big question is whether the club envisions him as a CB, where he’s played recently, or a CDM, where he’s played before at a high level. I’d probably be happier with him as a CDM, because that frees up Warner (who idk if we’ve even signed anyway) as trade bait for Yueill.

    • Sindre Quamme Bergan

      He’s unlikely to disappoint, but he should definitely be a CB.

  • BJ

    His wife was an athlete as well and they just had a kid in September. It might be a hard sell.

  • Steve Lindley

    Love the ‘no comment’. Can we get a guest article or interview with Durkee where he talks about top pizza places in Mpls/St Paul?

    • Jeff Rueter

      This is a fantastic idea.

  • John Herman

    Hey wait, a bunch of contracts over there just expired, didn’t they? Time for a European influx of talent? If we know one thing, it’s that Demidov can only be a Loon if he has a bromantic interest (a la Tico tandem or Rambarra). That’s how it works, right? Any other fringe Norwegian internationals out of contract?

    • David K

      A duo from the Tippeligaen on our team? Well Josh, thats gatt me hopefull.

    • Melissa Danner

      He and Saeid could be prime bromance fodder, actually…

      • John Herman

        Of course! I forgot that Saeid is Scandinavian. I look forward to their joint presser and photo shoot. And the first annual intrasquad preseason 2v2 tournament. My money’s on Rambarra.

        • Sindre Quamme Bergan

          Swedes and Norwegians can understand eachother perfectly, but I’m sure they both speak English pretty well (most Scandinavians do)

  • Kdog

    Kinda too bad he was only born in “modern-day”Latvia. I was hoping for an ancient Balt time-traveling warrior as CB.

  • Sindre Quamme Bergan

    Very good signing if it’s true (especially seeing he’s a free agent at the moment), but I disagree with Heneage. Demidov is a great CB, but I doubt he’s capable of covering enough ground to be a very good DCM at this point. He hadn’t played a single match for a year before he came to our club (Brann), and was injured for quite some time after he came, but has been outstanding for the last one and a half season or so (after he recovered from his injuries).

    I also disagree with Demidov not being a physical presence, or at least with him having problems with taller and stronger players – Demidov hardly ever lost an aerial duel, and he knows all the tricks needed to neutralize his opponents.

    Heneage probably hasn’t seen him play for 4–5 years.

    He’s a big part of the reason why we only conceded 27 goals in 30 matches last season, and he’s a great asset in the wardrobe and off the field as well.

    • John Herman

      Hey thanks for the info. I always love getting a player’s former team’s fan’s breakdown and what you say is very promising. If he is the center back you describe, he sounds like a good fit with Calvo, and I like the idea of 2 cbs who are strong in air.

      I’m sure some of this is just homerism, but it seems like all of the big signings so far have been great fits on the field as well as positive characters off the field. I feel like this team is going to be more than the sum of its parts, hopefully sooner than later.

      • Sindre Quamme Bergan

        I guess it’s not allowed to post links here, but google “Kastrati sparker Nouri og slår Demidov” and check out the video. He is definitely not a diver 🙂

    • Jeff Rueter

      This is great info, Sindre. With how athletic Francisco Calvo (Minnesota’s other CB acquisition) is, there’s room to cover any lack of mobility on Demidov’s behalf. If that means he can focus even more on his physicality, even better.

  • Brandon

    would Danny Williams be a potential acquisition in the midfield? contract runs out this year and Reading may want to salvage a fee of some sort?

    • Jeff Rueter

      Potential acquisition, sure. If I remember correctly, he’s been scouted by Crystal Palace, Swansea City, and Burnley. Not sure we could outbid them.

  • palsa12

    “Demidov isn’t really a physical presence, and I could see him being bullied by some forwards in MLS”
    eh, what? Have Kristan seen him play at all? Demidovs main attribute is his physical presence. Having played against some really physical forwards in Norway, russia and Spain, he would have a field day in MLS. Villa, wright phillips, giovinco, ola kamara etc. Haha, give me a break.
    With that being said, he would probably dominate as a midfielder as well.

  • Lasse Ottesen

    I’m a SK Brann-supporter, and I think Demidov would be a great signing for Minnesota. However, I doubt that Demidov is capable of playing as a defensive midlfielder anymore. He has some problems with the underside of one his feet, a problem that kept him on the sideline for almost a year. This injury isn’t something that eventualy goes away and he will have to deal with it for the rest of his career. I am 99% sure that Demidov will play as a CB.

    If you sign him you’ll get a great CB with heaps of experience. In my view his best attribute is his capability to be a leader. In Brann, his leadership has been the most important thing about him. I don’t know anything about Minnesota United, but do you need a new captain?

    It’s too bad you don’t understand norwegian, because some of the pre/post-match interview he’s done are pretty fun to watch. Demidov absolutly speaks his mind and does not give answer in that obvious way that most football players do these days. If Demidov think that he’s team has been shit, he will have no problem telling that to the camera. He tells it like it is.

    He also speak severl languages. He speaks norwegian, swedish, danish, english and spanish fluently. I think he speaks russian as well, but I’m not 100% of this.

    If you guys have any questions I’m happy to answer them as good as I can.

    • Jeff Rueter

      Lasse,

      That’d be fantastic. Do you have Twitter? Find me at @jeffrueter and I’ll shoot you a message. Thanks.

    • Jeff Rueter

      Very impressive pedigree and language grasp. The club will likely need a new captain, as most of the roster is composed of new acquisitions. Still, if his best days at midfield are behind him, he’d be a good center back.

      Honest question — I know he’s listed as 6’2″, but is he the type of center back that can be anchored in the box? Our other center back (Francisco Calvo) is around 5’11” and is as capable on offense as defense. Having a more physical CB to partner with him would be a major benefit.

      • Lasse Ottesen

        Hi Jeff!

        Vadim is a decent head-player (in lack of a better
        term, as you propably can tell my english isn’t the best), His elasticity is ok, but what makes him really good is his understanding of the game. He’s capable of
        reading threatening situations correctly at an early point so that he has an advantage against his opponent.

        He is that type of player you’d prefer to be on the same team as in trainings and such. He is propably a pain in the ass to meet in a duell. Demidov plays rough, but he also plays fair. But you should account for a few yellow cards througout a whole season… This season he got 7 yellow cards.

        One of his drawbacks, if you can call it that since
        it really isn’t a CB’s job, is that he almost never scores. In Brann he used to be in the box at offensive cornerkicks, and due to the fact that he is a good head-player and often gets in a possible scoring position, he hardly ever gets the ball in the net. But yeah, it’s a bit harsh to hold that against him being that he’s a center back.

        Sorry Jeff, but I don’t use Twitter. If you have any questions I’ll gladely answer them, but you will have to post them here.

        • Alex Schieferdecker

          Takk for sharing your knowledge! I have a soft spot for Bergen after visiting several years ago. (I have special fondness for Det Lille Kaffekompaniet, it’s a fantastic place!) Your English is fine, by the way, it is no problem to understand what you’ve written.

          I’m not so concerned about his scoring. We just signed another centerback from Costa Rica and all he does it score, apparently.

    • Lasse Ottesen

      Hi Jeff!

      Vadim is a deceht head-player (in lack of a better term, my english isn’t the best), His elasticity is ok, but what makes him really good is his understanding of the game. He’s capable of reading threatening situations correctly at an early point so that he has an advantage against his opponent.

      He is that type of player you’d prefer to be on the same team as in trainings and such. He is propably a pain in the ass to meet in a duell. Demidov plays rough, but also fair. But you should account for a few yellow cards througout a whole season.

      One of his drawbacks, if you can call it that since it really isn’t a CB’s job, is that he almost never scores. In Brann he used to be in the box at offensive cornerkicks, and due to the fact that he is a good head-player and often gets in a possible scoring position, he hardly ever gets the ball in the net. But yeah, it’s a bit harsh to hold that against him being that he’s a center back.

      Sorry Jeff, but I don’t use Twitter. If you have any questions I’ll gladly answer them, but you will have to post them here.