That first designated player for Minnesota United is literally about to arrive.
Darwin Quintero, a striker for Mexican team Club America, is set to touch down in Minnesota around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday night, a source close to the team confirmed. True North Elite, one of the team's supporters' groups, tweeted about this rumored arrival Tuesday night in hopes of garnering enough fans to show up at terminal two of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport to welcome the new player to the state.
Quintero, 30, is 5-5 and 141 pounds. The Colombia native started his pro career in 2006 and has played for teams in Colombia and Russia. He's played in the Mexican first division since 2009, first with Santos Laguna and then with America since 2014. Reports have linked him with a possible move to United for weeks.
The source said Quintero will do his physical and finalize negotiations with the club on Thursday, and if all goes as planned, will be announced officially soon thereafter. But it'll probably be too soon to see him playing 7 p.m. Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium against Atlanta United.
Quintero will be United's first DP, which is a high-caliber player that the team will pay beyond the salary cap limitations.
Coach Adrian Heath has been hinting at adding at least two more players before the transfer window closes May 1, offensive players who could immediately compete for first-team minutes. With two more players earning green cards earlier this week in Abu Danladi and Francisco Calvo, United has two international roster spots to use. Quintero will take one.
Also in practice Wednesday at the National Sports Center, outside back Jerome Thiesson was back working with the group after his hip injury endured in practice a week ago. Heath said Tuesday he was hopeful both Thiesson and fellow starting outside back Tyrone Mears would be available to play Saturday. Midfielder Rasmus Schuller was also back in upon returning from national team duty with Finland.
Schuller did not play in Finland's 5-0 victory against Malta on Monday. Center back Francisco Calvo started and played all 90 minutes in Costa Rica's 1-0 loss to Tunisia on Tuesday. He is expected to return to the club's training Thursday.