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.”