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Vadim Demidov out of Favor at MNUFC; May Depart This Spring

by on 14 April 2017

Minnesota United may be cutting ties with its club captain. After a rough first few games in MLS, Vadim Demidov seems to be on his way out the door. Given factors on the field and off, the move may happen sooner than later.

In Demidov’s first three MLS starts, Minnesota conceded a combined 16 goals against Portland, Atlanta, and New England. Coupled with the emergence of NASL-holdover Brent Kallman, Demidov hasn’t seen the field since. Joe Greenspan was loaned to the USL’s Pittsburgh Riverhounds, and Jermaine Taylor has found himself the third center back on the Loons’ depth chart. Meanwhile, Demidov is understandably uncomfortable being fourth in the pecking order.

Demidov was not among the Loons that traveled to Dallas last weekend. FiftyFive.One has learned that he also has not traveled to Houston ahead of Saturday’s clash with the Dynamo. While the TAM-level defender was signed on a three-year deal, there may be plans in motion to end that tenure much sooner.

Sources close to the player have indicated that Demidov’s family prefers to be closer to Oslo, where many relatives live. One potential suitor would be Vålerenga Fotball. VIF is currently in 10th place in the Tippeligaen and in desperate need of center back cover. The club resides in Oslo, and checks many boxes for a 30-year-old who wants to stay on the field.

A potential timeline

A move to VIF is not yet imminent. Earlier in the week, head coach Adrian Heath told the media that it’s been far from easy for Demidov. “Obviously, he’s a proud guy,” Heath remarked. “He came here with all the best intentions. At this moment, it’s not working for him, and he has to work through that.”

With fellow center back Francisco Calvo likely to be called up by Costa Rica for their Gold Cup campaign, there’s a chance Demidov wouldn’t depart until after Calvo returns from national-team duty. Minnesota has had 24-year-old Senegalese center back Abdoulaye Diallo on trial since late March, and Heath expects the club to make a decision on Diallo by the end of this coming week. Signing Diallo would require an open international spot (Minnesota does not currently have one available) or an immediate loan.

MNUFC declined to comment on the situation when asked. Objectively, a move would make sense for both the club and the player. Demidov is not someone who will be content with a bench role, and Minnesota could use the international spot and salary cap space. A move may not happen for a few weeks, but with the former captain not even on the traveling roster, the writing is on the wall.

Wes Burdine contributed to this report.


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  • Joe Lahti

    Because I’m not familiar with how MLS salary caps work. Would this require a buy-out type situation or “loan”? If he is off the roster do we gain back the salary cap space or TAM?

    • Kevin Hill

      Same questions from me.

      • Jeff Rueter

        Answered just above!

    • Jeff Rueter

      Good question. If he’s purchased by another club who buys his rights, then MNU is off the hook for his salary. The Loons would lose the TAM they spent, but the cap space would open up. I would suspect there would be no transfer fee.

  • Jim Oliver

    If this is true and we end up dealing this guy away after two games of him underperforming then I want to know why we held Lance Laing prisoner for a year.

    • Alex Schieferdecker

      Hey, we needed Lance around to score that one ridiculous goal for us.

    • Chris RB

      One reason could be salary- Demidov is, I’m guessing, making a heck of a lot more than Lance was.

    • mixo45

      Laing didn’t make over $500K.

      • Jim Oliver

        But the TAM that buys part of that down is gone whether he stays or goes, isn’t it? Isn’t this just finding two different ways to throw good money after bad?

  • Benzino

    I don’t give the FO much credit for the on-field product to date because their missteps are many…but I will give them credit for recognizing this big mistake and trying to rectify it immediately.

  • Vinyl Haircut

    He certainly hasn’t played well, but I also think too much blame has been laid directly at his feet. I know that’s an unpopular viewpoint. It’s still incredibly early, and I don’t think it’s wise to unilaterally declare failure or success on any player at this stage. Unless we have an urgent need for the roster spot, I’d rather have him continue to work, and make an assessment later on after more weeks of practice, more acclimatization to MLS, some spot duty, etc.

    • Jacob

      This is all reasonable, and makes me optimistic that the team has another CB coming down the pipeline–beyond Diallo. We need a third CB with the Gold Cup coming up, and unless Greenspan or Diallo pull a Kallman, we’re in trouble. And that’s without taking injuries or suspensions into account.

      • Dave DuJour

        “pull a Kallman” has got to be the phrase of the day.

  • Troy Kadlec

    I feel for the guy, but given the money invested and the poor results, I’m not surprised. His performance on the field was extremely poor and he seemed to struggle against the speed and physicality of the forwards he needed to defend against. Now that others have solidified starting roles, it is hard for him to crack the lineup without showing huge improvement. If that was happening, he’d get back on the field, but it sounds like he’s not being patient. Given the scorn heaped on him by the media and fanbase, the distance from family, the inability to make the starting 11, I’m not surprised he wants out. Loan him, trade him, cut your losses and move on. I hope Vadim finds success elsewhere.

  • The fact that he’s found himself behind Jermaine Taylor on the CB depth chart is shocking. Hard to just get rid of him now with so little depth and the inevitable call-ups, injuries and suspensions every team faces on the horizon. Feel for the guy and want him put somewhere he can succeed but we still need warm(ish) bodies.