In the first set of moves for the 2018 offseason, Minnesota United announced the list of players whose contract options will be declined as required by Major League Soccer.
As the Loons prepare to begin play at Allianz Field in 2019 — the third season in the club’s oft-mentioned three-year plan — eleven players were let go. The club parted ways with nine following the 2017 season.
United will be in the search for a bigger goalkeeper corps in the next few months, as Alex Kapp and Matt Lampson will all not return. United brought Lampson in for the 2018 season through a trade with the Chicago Fire. He was named MLS Works’ Humanitarian of the Year for his efforts through the LampStrong Foundation, which he created. Kapp never appeared for the Loons.
Also departing will be Ibson, who played for the Loons in NASL before transitioning with the club to MLS. After a prestigious career in Brazil and Europe, the midfielder appeared for United more than 100 times.
Fan-favorite fullback Jerome Thiesson will not return. After being a near-constant fixture in the starting lineup in 2017, Thiesson battled injury issues throughout his second year.
Troubled Peruvian winger Alexi Gomez, on loan from Universitario, will not return, nor will loaned midfielder Maximiano.
Midfielder Collen Warner and fullback Marc Burch, both MLS veterans, will no longer be Loons.
Harrison Heath, son of manager Adrian Heath, will not be back for the Loons as his contract will expire. The same situation applies for Johan Venegas, on loan to Saprissa. The status of midfielder Sam Cronin, who has not been with the team for months as he battled an upper body injury, was not made clear.
Midfielder Fernando Bob, brought in to fix the crisis in defensive midfield, will not return.
Cameroonians Frantz Pangop and Bertrand Owundi Eko’o will not return, meaning none of the five players (Heath, Lampson and Tyrone Mears) acquired from another team last offseason will head to the Allianz Field era.
The following players’ options were exercised or were already under contract:
D - Carter Manley
D - Francisco Calvo
F - Angelo Rodriguez
M - Miguel Ibarra
M - Romario Ibarra
F - Johan Venegas (on loan to Saprissa)
M - Fernando Bob
M - Ethan Finlay
D - Brent Kallman
D - Michael Boxall
M - Collin Martin
M - Kevin Molino
M - Rasmus Schuller
D - Wyatt Omsberg
F - Mason Toye
M - Darwin Quintero
GK - Bobby Shuttleworth
F - Abu Danladi
Fullback Eric Miller is currently in contract negotiations.
The next key date in United’s offseason comes on December 9th, when MLS has a half-day trade window.