Minnesota United on Friday loaned longtime Loon and Minnesotan Brent Kallman to El Paso Locomotive FC in the USL Championship for the rest of the season with the right to recall the defender at any time.

Kallman, 29, has not played this season after he started it by serving the final five games of a 10-game September suspension. He violated MLS’ substance abuse and behavioral policy by testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance.

The Loons have four center backs ahead of him: current starters Michael Boxall and Jose Aja as well as recently signed French defender Bakaye Dibassy and two-time MLS Defender of the Year Ike Opara, provided Opara returns from what he calls a “pre-existing condition” that kept him from playing in Orlando. Opara is expected to miss at least the opening two games when the Loons play again starting next week, coach Adrian Heath said Thursday.

Raised in Woodbury, Kallman has been with the franchise since he was acquired in 2013 when it was the NASL’s Minnesota Stars. He was the first Minnesotan to join the Loons when they moved up to MLS in 2017. He has played 63 games, starting in 59 of those.

The Loons on Tuesday loaned rookie defender Noah Billingsley to Las Vegas in the USL to clear an international roster spot for Dibassy.

Aiming high

After signing Dibassy last week, the Loons are finalizing paperwork on Argentine attacking midfielder Emanuel Reynoso and have the money and space to add a third player in the current transfer window.

Color Heath optimistic.

“If we get those two over the line, this will be the best squad we’ve ever had,” he said. “I was so pleased with what people would consider `squad’ players. The impact Jacori (Hayes) had, that Aaron Schoenfeld had, that Marlon (Hairston) had, that Raheem (Edwards). I was so pleased with their contributions down in Orlando.”

Missed opportunity

The Loons have returned from Florida happy to be home and unhappy their MLS is Back tournament ended with a 3-1 semifinal loss to host Orlando City.

“They’re really disappointed that we didn’t go all the way,” Heath said. “We were confident we could win the tournament. Having watched the final the other night (Portland’s 2-1 victory over Orlando City), nothing in the final convinced me we couldn’t have won it.”