Minnesota United said Sunday that it has acquired defender Joseph Greenspan from the Colorado Rapids in exchange for its third-round pick in next month’s Major League Soccer SuperDraft.

Greenspan, 24, was the 26th selection in the 2015 draft while he was in the U.S. Navy. While fulfilling his Navy duties, he sandwiched action in parts of 2015 and 2016 with Colorado and also the Colorado Springs franchise in the USL.

“His size, athleticism and technical ability, matched with his character and leadership make him an excellent addition,’’ Minnesota United coach Adrian Heath said in a statement. “His commitments to the U.S. Navy have kept him from focusing completely on his professional career and we’re thrilled that he’ll be able to do that in Minnesota.”

A native of New Jersey, the 6-6 center back played four games with Colorado in 2015. Greenspan began the 2016 season in San Diego aboard a U.S. Navy destroyer. He rejoined Colorado in July after receiving an assignment in Denver. Shortly after Greenspan was sent on loan to the Switchbacks and then to the Charlotte Independence, playing 11 total matches in 2016.

While enrolled at Navy, Greenspan earned All-America honors as a junior and senior. while leading the team to the school’s first NCAA tournament victory in 42 years.

He becomes Minnesota United’s third signing of players to its eventual 28-member roster to begin MLS play in 2017. Defenders Kevin Venegas and Justin Davis, who played for the Loons last season in the North American Soccer League, were signed earlier this month.

Another five players will be selected Tuesday in the league’s expansion draft, with new franchise Atlanta holding the first pick.

Minnesota United has the first pick in the College SuperDraft on Jan. 13.

STAFF REPORT