Not even a full day into the secondary transfer window and Minnesota United already has signed its second player.
And this one is a designated player (DP), which means the team can pay him more than the salary cap limitations.
The club announced Tuesday it had signed Angelo Rodriguez as its second DP. The Colombian forward could join the squad as soon as next week and will be available to play once his visa and international transfer certificate clear.
The Loons' first DP, playmaker Darwin Quintero, has made a significant impact on the team's attack after joining the team in late March. Quintero earned the MLS player of the week honor Tuesday after his hat trick July 4 against Toronto. Rodriguez will look to have a similar effect.
The 29-year-old just won the 2018 Torneo Apertura league title with top-flight Colombian team Deportes Tolima, where he scored six goals in 1,259 minutes. Before his stint at Tolima starting in 2016, he played for seven other Colombian teams in either the first or second division since 2010.
At 5-11 and 176 pounds, Rodriguez is a "throwback center forward," as coach Adrian Heath called him. Rodriguez excels at the dying art of using power and strength to maintain his position, Heath said, especially when his back is to the goal.
United Sporting Director Manny Lagos said because Rodriguez has worked his way up the ranks of Colombian soccer, he will bring a lot of grit, toughness and leadership to the Loons, who struggle in those areas, especially on the road.
Rodriguez is Colombian like Quintero, and the Loons have added several players from the Central and South American region. That region, because it's more of a selling market than Europe, which mainly does business with fellow European teams, will continue to be a focus for the Loons, Lagos said.
"You kind of go where markets and resources you can afford a little bit," said Lagos, adding the club is still interested in other areas such as Europe, Africa and Asia. "If we continue to have more resources, more than likely, [Central and South America] become probably more of an ideal transfer market at times."
Lagos said United came across Rodriguez when scouting another player, presumably Nicolas Benedetti, whom the Loons failed to sign ahead of this season.
Rodriguez, Lagos said, had his pick of Colombian teams. Heath said about four or five MLS teams were interested in both Rodriguez and Romario Ibarra, United's other signing in this window.
Ibarra, who could join the Loons as soon as this week, is someone Heath has tabbed for 10 goals and 10 to 12 assists a year. Compared to Rodriguez, the 23-year-old brings a lot of promise for the future.
As far as this transfer window, which closes Aug. 8, Lagos said the next priority is a No. 6 defensive midfielder, a hole United has had to fill all season with Sam Cronin out for the "foreseeable future" because of concussion issues. Despite the position's importance, an addition might not come in the next month, Lagos said.
He also wants to give Maximiano a few more months to regain his form after rehabbing an ACL injury.
United might still have some domestic moves within MLS to make this window, though.
"Unless something really significantly shifted, which could happen, I don't think we'll be as active externally," Lagos said of adding a third and final designated player. "But I can't say that things won't come up internally."
And that is good news for Heath, whose priorities for adding depth were a little broader than Lagos'.
"All over," Heath said. "I can be as greedy as anybody."
Notes: Outside back Jerome Thiesson earned his green card, which freed up an international roster slot. Both Ibarra and Rodriguez require one.
Their addition could open up loan opportunities for players such as rookie Mason Toye. With several injuries to forward Abu Danladi this season, Toye has had to serve as the backup forward to Christian Ramirez, which has limited his potential development time.
Danladi returned to training Tuesday after a hamstring injury but is probably another week out from being full strength.
Center back Michael Boxall sat out of practice because of a slight groin injury in hopes he recovers in time for the Loons' match on Saturday against Real Salt Lake.