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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