Courtesy of Dan Mick

The Angle

Big Question: Why Sign Forward Brandon Allen If He’s Not Getting Playing Time?

by on 16 August 2017

The Big Question is a new series here at FiftyFive.One to look at a topic or idea within Minnesota soccer with a critical eye and to promote discussion and debate. We want to hear from you with your thoughts on today’s question:

“Why sign forward Brandon Allen if he’s not getting playing time?”

Brandon Allen was an interesting signing during the summer transfer window for Minnesota United FC. A loan with the option to buy at the end of the season, Allen had not seen much first team action with New York Red Bulls, spending most of his time with the Red Bulls’ reserve side in the USL. So why sign him?

Brandon Allen

Age 23 Years
Nationality U.S.A.
Position Forward
MLS Appearances (Minutes) 1 (7), 2016
USL Appearances (Minutes) 47 (3,784), 2016-17
Goals Scored (USL) 30

Brandon Allen is a left-footed attacker from New Jersey who attended Georgetown for college. He signed a homegrown contract with New York Red Bulls ahead of the 2016 season, and has spent most of his professional career playing with the New York Red Bulls II in the USL.

What does Brandon Allen bring to Minnesota United FC?

Besides not requiring an international spot, Brandon Allen has been used primarily as a squad player for Minnesota United FC. Given the opportunity to play Brandon Allen in the game against the Sounders a week ago, head coach Adrian Heath offered a convoluted reason for not playing him. Heath gave the following explanation to the Star Tribune’s Meg Ryan:

“If that game had been 2-1, chances are Brandon Allen would have been on the field with us and had an opportunity to try and get a goal because the one thing he’s shown since he’s been with us, he’s really good in and around the box.”

Above, Heath claims MNUFC sees Brandon Allen as a player with great potential, but Allen has yet to find any time on the pitch, even with Christian Ramirez injured. An interesting question is if Allen will even travel with the team to Seattle this weekend.

Identifying developing talent in lower divisions is a great way for teams on a budget — like Minnesota — to find players that can contribute at a higher level. But is Brandon Allen the next player to make that jump successfully?

So what do you think? Is Brandon Allen a long term contributor to the team, or is he really just a short term fix for a roster with not enough healthy bodies to even run a 11 vs. 11 scrimmage?

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