photo by Dan Mick.

News, The Angle

The “Losers”: Minnesota Lets 14 Players Ride off Into the Sunset

by on 28 November 2018

Minnesota United FC announced on Monday the players whose contracts had been extended with Minnesota for the 2019 season and also shared the names of the players whose time with Minnesota had come to end.

Fourteen players have been confirmed by the team to be leaving. Woodbury native Eric Miller is currently in contract negotiations with the team, while there is currently no news about Sam Cronin, whose 2018 season ended in preseason with a neck injury.

Option Declined

Marc Burch

Burch was a surprise returning player in 2018. After an injury plagued 2017 season, there were some rumors he might retire after the season. When he returned, there was some hope that the left back would be able to help improve one of the worst defenses in MLS history. Instead, he spent much of the season injured or unable to break into the starting XI.

Ibson

Ibson was beloved since he joined Minnesota United FC in 2015, but no coach ever truly understood how to make the talents of Ibson work. He was a wildcard, willing to show up just about anywhere on the field to create attacking opportunities for his side. But he was always in a position on the field that required he take on defensive duties. Opposing teams quickly figured out that when Ibson invariably went out of position there was no adaptation by the rest of the Loons.

He lost his starting job halfway through the season, but the team never seemed to improve much without him out there. At 35, he was a longshot to stay with the team for another season.

Matt Lampson

A great guy, he was brought in to replace Bobby Shuttleworth. Instead, his slow footwork and gaffes left him on the bench for much of the season.

Fernando Bob

The Brazilian might have an excellent name, but the late season acquisition did little to improve the defensive midfield for Minnesota. His highlight of the season was the red card he earned for elbowing Diego Valeri in the jaw at the end of the Portland Timbers match at TCF Bank Stadium.

Jérôme Thiesson

The second fan favorite to exit this season after Christian Ramirez, Thiesson joined Minnesota United FC a few days before the famous 2017 MLS home opener in the snow against Atlanta. He endeared himself to the fans with his great attitude and joyful celebrations. Seemingly out of favor with the coaches, he also dealt with a number of injuries this season.

Collen Warner

Warner never seemed to really find a place with Minnesota. An occasional late game sub and international break starter, the American could not break into a midfield that at times was decimated by injuries.

Bertrand Owundi Eko’o

Eko’o was apparently a depth signing and never could break into the first team. The Cameroonian had a stint with the Charlotte Independence of USL. As he occupied an international spot, he was unlikely to remain with the team in 2019.

Frantz Pangop

Another Cameroonian who struggled to find playing time after recovering from injury. Again, tough to see the team using an international spot in 2019 for a depth player.

Alex Kapp

Kapp struggled to get out of third goalkeeper spot in the depth chart in the year and a half he had been with Minnesota, so it was time for Minnesota to cut him loose and open up another spot for a new, young goalkeeper.

Out of contract

Harrison Heath

A head scratcher when he was signed, the coach’s son will be remembered for being sent off against Colorado from the bench.

https://streamable.com/9b0wr

The 22 year old will be looking for a new team to sign with for the 2019 season.

Johan Venegas

Venegas has been down in Costa Rica on loan in 2018 and was unlikely to ever see another minute in a Loons jersey.

Returning at the end of their loan

Maximiano

Maximiano returned to Fluminese in Brazil after the end of his loan with Minnesota United. The 23 year old will likely hold the team record for most yellow cards per minutes played, earning one yellow card for every 96 minutes he played. He also enjoyed two suspensions, one for a red card and one for yellow card accumulation.

Alexi Gomez

Alexi Gomez returned to Universitario de Deportes, where they will need to put up protective netting behind the goals to catch his errant shots from hitting anyone in the crowd.


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