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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United have moved quickly to shore up their offense, announcing today that they have signed veteran Brazilian striker Daniel Mendes on loan.
Mendes, 33, has been playing in the Swedish top division since 2006, mostly with Kalmar. He has scored 24 goals for the club, at a rate of one every four appearances or so, since 2009. Last season, the team loaned him to Gothenburg Athletics & Sports Association in the Swedish second division, where he fared even better, scoring seven times in 13 starts.
The Brazilian is listed at 5'9", 150 pounds, making him more Kentaro Takada and less Pablo Campos, in terms of stature. Just given his size, he may be more likely to play more of a fluid role in attack, and less as a central striker - a role that may fall to the 6'2" Christian Ramirez.
Mendes is the third Brazilian veteran to sign for Minnesota this year, following Tiago Calvano and Juliano Vicentini. When added to Campos and central defender Cristiano Dias, Mendes's signing gives United a distinctly Brazilian backbone.
A Swedish website reported that Mendes is on loan from Kalmar until December; Kalmar sporting director Thomas Andersson Borstam refused to comment in that article about whether Minnesota had an option to make the loan permanent at the end of the deal.
There is no word from the club on when Mendes may arrive in Minnesota, but he'll be faced with a shortened preseason with his new team. The Swedish season also runs over the summer, from April into the fall, so at least he's on the same schedule - and is not arriving at the end of a long season.
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