BLAINE, Minn. — Minnesota United coach Adrian Heath said Monday, July 8, the club has made progress in the acquisition of one player, and that the pursuit of another is further behind.
In late June, Heath shared the club was “making headway” on two or three prospective additions. Now, with the MLS summer transfer window opening Tuesday, he has added a few details.
“Certainly with one of them we expect to maybe announce something in a couple of days, then one of them is probably not as far along as we would have liked,” he said. “But we’re certainly going to go all the way through to try to get two or three players that we feel we need to push it on now.”
Currently holding the fourth of seven Western Conference playoff spots, United (9-7-4) has identified left back and winger as positions of need, and Europe has been a recent scouting destination.
Over the past two weeks, Heath has commended the play of rookie left back Chase Gasper, but the coach said Saturday Gasper’s emergence won’t change the club’s plan to add at that position.
The Loons are nearly 100 percent healthy as the club enters a stretch a three competitive games and a friendly in the next 12 days.
With Abu Danladi (groin) and Ike Opara (hamstring) back on the field Monday, Minnesota did not have a single player miss training due to injury.
“It’s a good time,” Heath said.
On a five-game winning streak, Minnesota plays New Mexico United in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup at Allianz Field on Wednesday night. The Loons then have important MLS games against West contenders FC Dallas on Saturday, and Real Salt Lake on July 20.
United mixes in a friendly against Aston Villa of the English Premier League on July 17.
With two goals in Saturday’s 3-2 victory over Montreal, striker Mason Toye finished second for MLS player of the week. Los Angeles FC’s Carlos Vela — the frontrunner for league MVP this season — won the weekly award for a third time this season. Two Loons have won this award — Kevin Molino in 2017 and Darwin Quintero in 2018.
If Minnesota beats New Mexico, a new club in the lower-level USL Championship, the Loons will play either LAFC or the Portland Timbers on Aug. 7. That would make a stretch of three games in seven days with MLS games on Aug. 4 versus Portland and Aug. 10 against Dallas.