Frequent contributor Jon Marthaler has written about virtually every sport in the Twin Cities, and fills in on Saturdays for the RandBall blog on StarTribune.com. He'll cover the professional soccer scene in the Twin Cities, whether at the Metrodome or at the National Sports Center.
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The Minnesota Stars have re-signed free agent central defender Cristiano Dias to a two-year contract, thus completing the team's likely back four for the coming season. Dias was a key component in the Stars defense over the past two years, though he fell somewhat out of favor towards the end of the 2012 season.
Dias is currently playing for the Missouri Comets in the Major Indoor Soccer League, which begins playoffs next week. He'll join up with the Stars for preseason training whenever the Comets' season is complete.
With the move, the Stars now have four defenders under contract who have spent the past several years with the club. At the moment, it would appear that Justin Davis and Brian Kallman will slot in in the outside back positions, with Dias and Connor Tobin in central defense.
In a press release, Dias described himself as "really happy" to be back, and head coach Manny Lagos described himself as "very excited," so everyone appears to be on the same page here.
Notes: Davis, who missed Monday's training session after being on trial with half the teams in MLS, rejoined the team on Tuesday... the club announced that Paul O'Connor, an assistant and goalkeeper coach at Benilde-St. Margaret's, would be working with the team's keepers in breakout sessions this spring.