Hey, y'all. Few quick things from Minnesota United practice Thursday at the National Sports Center.
First of all, Joe Greenspan was back from his one-match loan to the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, where he played a full 90 minutes in a 2-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls II. Midfielder Sam Cronin also participated in part of practice. He hasn't played in six matches and has been dealing with a concussion.
"He’s a lot improved, and obviously, we've still got a couple of weeks to go," coach Adrian Heath said. "So it would be great to have him back at some stage before the end of this season. And if we have to wait, we have to wait. But no, we haven’t given up hope of getting Sam back on the field."
Left back Marc Burch also trained after missing the Atlanta match with a hamstring injury. Heath said Burch "feels a lot better," and the coaching staff will see how he does tomorrow before making a decision on if he can play 7 p.m. Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium against Sporting Kansas City.
Forward Abu Danladi did not train after leaving the Atlanta match early with a leg injury. But Heath said the rookie "should be OK" for this weekend, even joking he was milking the injury for some sympathy.
However, defender Thomas de Villardi looked to have endured another injury setback. He had just recently joined back into full team trainings after he ruptured his Achilles early this season. But de Villardi had to be helped off the pitch after going down with an apparent leg injury during an exercise. Heath said he didn't know what happened, but de Villardi will have an MRI to diagnose the problem.
Right back Jerome Thiesson, center back Brent Kallman, midfielder Collin Martin and winger Ethan Finlay did not partake in the group session Thursday, instead doing regen work. And the national team guys were all gone as well: Francisco Calvo, Johan Venegas, Michael Boxall, Jermaine Taylor and Kevin Molino.
And! This season isn't even done yet, but you can already look ahead to next preseason. United will participate in the Carolina Challenge Cup this February, which the United Soccer League's Charleston Battery will host. Atlanta United FC and the Columbus Crew SC will also be in the tournament. Get your deets here.