Minnesota United began preseason training this week with most of its rostered players participating, but without Ike Opara, the two-time MLS Defender of the Year.

Loons coach Adrian Heath earlier expressed optimism that Opara, 32, could return to play this season. He didn't sound that way Wednesday.

"Ike was feeling particularly good at the time, but at the moment he's not feeling particularly good," Heath said. "We're taking the situation week to week and see where we are and how he is. At the end of the day, we're governed by how he feels.

"This is not something we can talk to him about and tell him he has to work through the pain. He has a situation only he can tell us how he feels. We're obviously guided by that."

Opara hasn't played since this time last year because of an undisclosed condition that limited him to two games played at the start of last season.

Heath called Opara's situation a "bit of frustration for all of us. We still have to live in hope we'll get where we all want to be. But it's looking a bit different at the moment."

Heath said there's no deadline to determine Opara's playing future.

Waiting game

Star midfielder Emanuel Reynoso, newly signed striker Juan Agudelo, Ozzie Alonso and New Zealand defenders Michael Boxall and Noah Billingsley trained individually while they finish travel quarantines.

Alonso, 35, has a one-year contract and could remain with the club after that as a coach and be involved in the community.

"I know the one thing he wants to make clear for everybody, he's first and foremost here as a player," said Heath, whose team signed veteran defensive midfielder Wil Trapp at the same position Alonzo plays.


• Heath said the team is near an arrangement to loan midfielder Thomas Chacon to a team in Uruguay, his home. "The kid needs to play," Heath said. "Him going back in an environment where he feels comfortable, he'll start feeling himself again. People forget he's just 21."

• Homegrown goalkeeper Fred Emmings will spend time with clubs in England's Premier League or in Europe this season. The St. Paul native could join the Luxembourg national team as well; he has dual citizenship.

• First-round draft pick Justin McMaster is playing games with his Wake Forest college team; he started in a 1-0 victory over Davidson College on Monday. He will join the Loons when they train in Florida later this month.