At the end of Minnesota United’s media day on Thursday, Adrian Heath acted his regular gregarious self, joking with reporters. When asked about his pursuit of his former charge, Orlando City’s Kevin Molino, he started answering, “I normally get myself in trouble whenever I mention Orlando…” and then stopped himself, exasperated, ”In fact, don’t mention anything.”
Whether or not the pursuit is over, the interest in Molino seems to have been significant. In the past, whenever mention of allocation money involved in a trade came out, it was nearly impossible to contextualize, because MLS clubs have been so secretive. However, in the new era of partial transparency, MLS has begun announcing the amounts of GAM and TAM involved in trades.
This week began with Dax McCarty’s $400,000 (GAM) trade to the Chicago Fire, and while the trade itself was interesting, the number attached to it raised the most eyebrows. Sam Stejskal puts this into perspective:
According to numbers that I’ve been able to track down from various executives at several MLS clubs (the amount of allocation money exchanged in trades only began being publicly released at the SuperDraft last Friday), the $400,000 in GAM sent by Chicago to New York is the second largest amount of GAM exchanged in MLS history, trailing only the deal that sent Eddie Johnson from Seattle to D.C. in 2013, which sources tell me saw the Sounders net in the neighborhood of $650,000 in GAM.
A $500,000 bid for Kevin Molino, then, represents a significant level of interest from Minnesota United. According to Stejskal, it would have been the second largest intraleague transfer.
Molino would have also bolstered an attack that currently lacks a dedicated right-wing presence.
Looking over his squad, Heath admits, “We’ve got some holes to fill.” But having only 16 players heading into the weekend before preseason doesn’t bother the manager.
Heath wants 23 to 24 players by March and in the meanwhile, the team will be taking its time to make sure it signs the right players, rather than rushing decisions. “I think the most important thing is to get the right ones. We probably rushed in Orlando and took one or two players too early and we regretted it.”
More players are in the works, Heath says. He did not mention any names, but as we have previously reported the signing of Rasmus Schüller is being pursued. In addition, several Loons are likely to make a return. Ibson has told several news outlets that he will be back in Minnesota and Brent Kallman looks very likely to continue on with the club as well. Others may yet return, but at this stage it’s too early to say. Paul Tenorio has also linked the club to former Portland Timber defender Jermaine Taylor.
Heath also returned to his hint before the draft that there was a “huge signing” in the works and said that the club is “a lot closer than we were a week ago… I’m confident we’ll get the one we’re after.” Asked if this was a “huge name” or a “huge signing,” Heath was enigmatic: “depends on what you call a huge name.”
The Loons also need two goalkeepers and Heath said, “We are actively looking at [the goalkeeper] situation.”
Minnesota United begins their preseason on Monday in Arizona.