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The United Beat

Jerry Zgoda writes about Major League Soccer and Minnesota United.

Loons juggle roster as four veterans leave for international play

Minnesota United returned to training Wednesday with four players gone to their national teams for international play and one day after it played a closed scrimmage against USL League Two’s Des Moines Menace on Tuesday in Blaine.

 

 

That scrimmage allowed United coach Adrian Heath opportunity to get game minutes for players who he’ll call upon in the coming weeks now that right back Romain Metanire, midfielders Jan Gregus, Kevin Molino and Rasmus Schuller have left for their respective national teams during a FIFA international-play window.

Veteran defenders Lawrence Olum and Eric Miller as well as midfielder Collin Martin (recalled from USL’s Hartford) all played all 90 minutes Tuesday.

Molino played what Heath called an “excellent” 90 minutes before he left for his Trinidad and Tobago team and Gold Cup play that will bring him back to Allianz Field to play Panama on June 18 in Group D play.

Rookie Chase Gasper, recovering from a hamstring injury, played 65 minutes but not might be quite ready to play Saturday at Colorado.

Forward Abu Danlaid didn’t play because of what Heath called a minor hamstring issue that left Danladi holding it as he left the field after the Loons' 3-2 home loss to Philadelphia on Sunday.

Heath said rookie Hassani Dotson’s versatility and the presence of both Olum and Martin provide options with those four players gone.

“I think we’ll be OK,” Heath said. “I’ve certainly got no qualms putting those players in the team. Hopefully we’re getting everybody fit and healthy.”

Heath said the team is “nursing” Danladi through an issue near the top of his hamstring -- a problem area for him in the past -- so he’ll be ready to play Saturday against the Rapids and former United winger Sam Nicholson, who was traded to Colorado in May 2018 for Miller and $50,000 GAM.

“We don’t think it’s too serious,” Heath said.

Left back Gasper reported some soreness Wednesday morning after Tuesday’s scrimmage, but Heath called Gasper’s progress “going in the right direction. Whether this weekend comes a bit early, I don’t know.”

Metanire, Rodriguez, Finlay back in Minnesota United lineup vs. Philadelphia

Minnesota United defender Romain Metanire is back in today's starting lineup after missing Wednesday's 3-0 loss at Atlanta for red-card accumulations.

 

 

Ethan Finlay and Angelo Rodriguez are back as well with Abu Danladi, Rasmus Schuller and Michael Boxall back in sub roles.

Metanire is back for one game before he missed at least two more to play for his Madagascar natonal team in the Africa Cup of Nations. He could miss close to a month over the course of the summer, depending on how far his team goes.

I wrote about Metanire's first season here -- which has been something a revelation -- so far. You can find it here.

Teammates Rasmus Schuller and Jan Gregus will go to play for their respective national teams, too. So, too, will Kevin Molino if he continues to recover from a hamstring injury. His Trinidad and Tobago team opens Gold Cup play right here at Allianz Field against Panama on June 18.

Here's the United lineup today in a 4-2-3-1 formation:

                         Angelo Rodriguez

   Miguel Ibarra   Darwin Quintero   Ethan Finlay

               Jan Gregus    Ozzie Alonso

Hassani Dotson  Brent Kallman   Ike Opara   Romain Metanire

                          Vito Mannone

Subs: Kevin Molino, Lawrence Olum, Abu Danladi, Rasmus Schuller, Eric Miller, Micheal Boxall

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