Nearly two weeks after it acquired veteran striker Kei Kamara, Minnesota United on Thursday sent young forward Mason Toye to Montreal. The Loons get $600,000 in allocation money, a 2021 second-round draft pick and a percentage of any future transfer fees.
It did so to fulfill Toye’s wish that he become his team’s starting striker, Loons coach Adrian Heath said.
Toye just might become that soon, but it will be in Montreal, not Minnesota. And it with be with Impact coach Thierry Henry, one of soccer’s greatest all-time goal scorers and one of Toye’s idols.
“Mason has been a bit frustrated of late, obviously with the signing of Kei,” Heath said. “He came in and as most strikers should think, he thinks he should be the No. 1 starter forward for us. We have a slight difference of opinion on that and Mason expressed the desire he’d like to take the opportunity if he could go somewhere and hopefully be their No. 1 striker.”
Kamara’s arrival gave the Loons a fourth striker at a position where Luis Amarilla and Aaron Schoenfeld both have been injured.
Heath said there was “quite a lot of interest” in the former Indiana University and U.S. Under-23 National Team member who turns 22 in two weeks. He called Montreal’s offer “the best deal by far” and not too far from the May 2019 trade that sent Jonathan Lewis from New York City FC to Colorado.
The Loons will get $150,000 in general-allocation money this season, $450,000 in 2021. They’ll also get a portion of the transfer fee if Toye — whose MLS contract has two years remaining — is sold.
“We do what we think is the right decision for the club moving forward and only time will tell,” Heath said. “As with all strikers, you always leave yourself open to something coming back and biting you. You make decisions for the right reasons at that particular moment in time, and at this time, we feel like it’s a good fee for a young guy who is making his way in the game.”
MLS executives are discussing with FIFA and UEFA officials about players being called to national teams this month. Heath said Slovakia’s Jan Gregus, Finland’s Robin Lod and Trinidad and Tobago’s Kevin Molino all would miss five or six games because of quarantines and the international schedule.
“That’s just not feasible,” Heath said. “I know the league is working to come up with a solution. This is not in my hands. Having spoke to the players, they’re fully aware we can’t [have] them leaving and missing five, six games. It’s impossible.”
• Heath in Thursday’s video call with reporters mentioned for the first time Amarilla might need surgery on an injured ankle that has sidelined him since Sept. 2. Heath said such a decision would be made with the Argentina team that loaned him to Minnesota United for this season with an option to buy. Amarilla won’t play Saturday against Cincinnati or Tuesday at Nashville.
• Injured Kevin Molino, Ozzie Alonso and Ethan Finlay all trained this week. Heath said Molino is closest to playing again, perhaps on Saturday. He said Alonso and Finlay probably are out at least another week.
• The Loons continue to explore loaning young designated player Thomas Chacon and have spoken to teams in Europe and South America, Heath said. That includes the Uruguayan club from which Chacon came last year.
• Heath said he plans to call former Loon Collin Martin, whose San Diego team in USL Championship forfeited Wednesday’s game against Phoenix Rising FC. It did so after Martin’s teammates claimed a Phoenix player directed a homophobic slur at Martin, who is openly gay. “He had great support here from his teammates and the club,” Heath said.