Former Minnesota United teammates Brent Kallman and Eric Miller have known each other so long, they’re almost like family.
No, wait, they really are family.
Kallman used to pick up Miller and drive him to varsity practice at Woodbury High School when Miller was a junior-high ninth-grader and Kallman was a junior, just like when upperclassmen looked after Kallman when was a ninth-grader who also had made the varsity squad.
They played together there for two years, then two more when Miller followed Kallman to Creighton University in Omaha.
They became family rather than just really good friends last New Year's Day, when Miller married Kallman’s sister Kassey after the pair dated for nearly a decade.
So now they’re brothers-in-law, too.
“We’ve spent a lot of time together,” Kallman said.
They went separate way professionally on Monday, when United traded Miller to New York City FC 15 months after it acquired him in a trade with Colorado.
“It is what it is, right?” Kallman said Tuesday after training. “It’s a business. It’s probably better for both parties, honestly. He’ll probably be in a better situation than when he was here. So I think it makes sense for both sides. It’s part of our job and what we do, you know?”
Miller had started five of his MLS games in which he appeared earlier this season. He was traded after the Loons recently signed veteran French defender Wilfried Moimbe for the rest of the season at Miller’s left-back position. Rookie Chase Gasper’s fast development at that same position, too, left little time and room for Miller going forth.
“Teams are always pushing to get better, signing new guys in positions of need,” Kallman said. “Some guys become expendable and that was maybe the case with Eric. Hopefully, things go well in New York. I think he’s in a better position there.
“The day could come if they don’t see value in me, I could be on the block as well. That’s just part of the job.”
More from Tuesday’s training in Blaine:
* United coach Adrian Heath seemed a bit mystified with the officiating Saturday in the Loons scoreless draw with Vancouver when Darwin Quintero received a yellow card that brings a one-game accumulation suspension after he was whistled for a hand ball.
By Tuesday, Heath seemed a bit mystified with United’s star himself after he reviewed the play and saw Quintero received the yellow card for kicking the ball over the goal 30 yards away in disgust after the call.
“You leave yourself open to it, especially when you know one more yellow card and you’re going to be suspended,” Heath said. “That was a bit frustrating, to say the least.”
Quintero is out for Sunday’s showdown with Portland, the first of two unusual back-to-back home games against the Timbers. A U.S. Open Cup semifinal between the teams is scheduled for Aug. 7.
* United midfielder Kevin Molino didn’t train with his teammates Tuesday morning, but he worked on his own with training staff on his own after he missed Saturday’s game because of a hamstring injury.
“We’re hoping he’ll be close for the weekend,” Heath said.
Molino is the natural replacement for Quintero in the starting lineup Sunday after Miguel Ibarra filled Molino’s starting role Saturday against Vancouver.
* United on Tuesday awaited the return of newly signed midfielder Robin Lod from his home in Finland. That could come as early as Wednesday’s training. If Lod’s immigration paperwork went through as expected and he got on the next flight to Minnesota, he could play as soon as Sunday.
“Whether that’s to start or come off the bench, we’ll wait and see,” Heath said.
* United veteran defender Romain Metanire left Sunday for Orlando and will play for the MLS team Wednesday night in its All-Star Game against Atletico Madrid. He’ll return to Minnesota on Thursday.
Heath is hoping more than anything that Metanire comes through his playing time healthy.
“He has earned that reward, that accolade of being an All Star,” Heath said. “I hope he enjoys it, but I hope he’s back here Thursday fit and healthy.”