There is not a lot of time left before the season begins, as Minnesota United fans are quick to point out:
Friendly reminder that there are 49 days until the @MLS preseason begins. #MNUFC— Jake Rueter (@jakerueter) December 5, 2016
In case you forgot, MNUFC have signed a total of two players, Kevin Venegas and Justin Davis. While we are excited that the team is bringing them up to MLS, that still leaves the team a bit short of a roster. Like, 26 players short. But fear not! Shortly after the team announced the signing of coach Adrian Heath, he and MNUFC Sporting Director Manny Lagos hopped on a plane to scout players in Central and South America.
Not much is known about the details of the trip. Where are they are going? What positions are they looking for?
What are they eating? But this morning, a hint has come out, in the form of the following tweet from Lagos:
Just a few pictures of Adrian and I on the road! Can you guess where we are? pic.twitter.com/yxNELU57S9— Manny Lagos (@Manny_Lagos) December 6, 2016
I have a few guesses.
It appears their first picture is at Estadio Centenario home of Quilmes Atlético Club. Quilmes are currently in the middle of the table (16) in Argentine Primera División. They played Sarmiento on Friday, December 2nd, losing 3 to 1.
The second picture looks to be Estadio José Dellagiovanna, home of Club Atlético Tigre. Tigre is also a member of the Argentine Primera División, and currently sits 13th on the table. Tigre played to a 1-1 draw with Aldosivi on Saturday, December 3rd.
This one looks like Estadio Libertadores de América, home of Club Atlético Independiente. Indedendiente sits just ahead of Tigre, at 12 on the Argentine Primera División. They beat River Plate 1-0 on Sunday, December 4th.
Your guess is as good as mine here. The only thing I can really see in this picture is “Paolini” which appears to be a construction company in Buenos Aires. I don’t think that is Heath pictured in the backwards hat, though The Mane Land didn’t prepare me enough to know if that is his style.
UPDATE: Eagle-eyed reader, Jake, has identified picture 4: “Game 4 appears to be Boca Juniors v. Racing Club but looking at the stands not being full [and t]he field looking like the NSC, I would guess it is the U-20 teams playing.”
Boca Jrs reserve team plays their matches at Complejo Pedro Pompilio, and lost to Racing Club reserve 3-0 early Sunday morning.
#Reserva Boca cayó 3-0 ante Racing en el complejo Pedro Pompilio. El equipo del @Flacoschiavi continúa como líder. pic.twitter.com/qUPecTAAXY— Boca Jrs. Oficial (@BocaJrsOficial) December 4, 2016
Take a look for yourself, it appears Jake was spot on.
Bonus video! pic.twitter.com/SYK2YLMly4— Manny Lagos (@Manny_Lagos) December 6, 2016
Shortly after tweeting out the pictures, Lagos blessed us with (what I believe to be) a bonus video of a supporter section at Estadio Ciudad de La Plata, home of Estudiantes de La Plata. Estudiantes is currently 1st in the Argentine Primera División and played Talleres Córdoba to a scoreless draw on Saturday, December 3rd. (Fun fact: Estudiantes is also known as “pincharattas” or “rat-stabbers”, either for a man who’s love for the team was only matched by his love for chasing rats in the market or for the medical students that were often part of the club).
We can take a look at the start times of the games to get a look at Heath and Lagos’ weekend schedule.
Friday, December 2nd
6:15 PM: Quilmes 1:3 Sarmiento Junin
Saturday, December 3rd
3:00 PM: Tigre 1:1 Aldosivi
Sunday, December 4th
10:00 AM: Boca Jr 0:3 Racing Club (Reserve) (end time of game, according to Twitter)
2:00 PM: Estudiantes 0:0 Talleres Cordoba
5:10 PM: Independiente 1:0 River Plate
They may have cut it a bit close on Sunday, considering the stadiums are about an hour apart.
I am glad to see that Lagos and Heath are checking out high level competition (and I’m thankful for the iSpy/Carmen Sandiego challenge of tracking them down). It appears they spent most of the weekend in the Buenos Aires area, though I am sure they have ventured off elsewhere early this week. I’ll update this if I can ever figure out what that fourth picture is.
Was I wrong on any of the locations?
Can anyone help us out with picture number 4? Are there players on some of these rosters that you hope MNUFC scoops up? Where should they head this weekend? Let us know!