Quintero is set to arrive on Wednesday night, which has been confirmed by the club. His announcement is expected to come in the next few days.
On Wednesday March 14th, Minnesota United FC Head Coach Adrian Heath and Sporting Director Manny Lagos ventured south of the border to take in the scenes of Club America and Tauros FC in Concacaf Champions League action. The duo left training midweek prior to an important home opener to attend the match; as well as scout 1 player in particular: Carlos Darwin Quintero. The Colombian attacker can feature in a mix of many positions, ranging from the right wing, secondary striker and central forward. The attacker has been capped by the Colombian national team 15 times, scoring 1 goal and assisting another. He has featured in World Cup qualifying matches in two different cycles; the 2010 and 2014 World Cups.
#MLS sources telling me #MNUFC are in advanced talks with Club América around Darwin Quintero. At this point, terms are in final stages, and if agreed, Quintero would be a designated player. Still a few hurdles to clear.— Jeff Rueter (@jeffrueter) March 16, 2018
TheAthletic journalist Jeff Reuter confirmed the talks between the two sides, and since then the rumor has only been heating up. Reuter also confirmed that the attacker has been in the club’s plans prior to the injury of playmaker Kevin Molino. Quintero will presumably have to earn a starting position, depending on where he features. A starting spot will not come easy right now, as the team is in top form. Sam Nicholson recently made the MLS team of the week bench for his performance and game winning header against the Chicago Fire in the MNUFC home opener. Christian Ramirez and Right winger Ethan Finlay are currently occupying positions where he could play as well, yet both are playing fantastic soccer so it is yet to be known where Quintero could slide in. There is also a possibility that he could feature in the #10 position, which Miguel Ibarra is currently occupying in the absence of Kevin Molino. Ibarra had his best game as an MLS player this past weekend, flourishing up top for the Loons against Chicago as well as assisting the game winner. The USMNT international will not give up the spot easy either, as he showed why he deserves it.
Quintero has been playing for Club America of the LIGA MX in Mexico since the 24/2015 season, where he has wrapped up 24 goals and 30 assists since. His most productive campaign was the 2015/16 season where he tallied 16 goals and 4 assists. He has had 134 appearances under his belt for Club America, while he played an integral part in their 2015/16 campaign claiming the title of Concacaf Champions League Champions, defeating the Montreal Impact 5-3. Following his best season in uniform, his head coach Gustavo Matosas was sacked due to indifferences with the board of the club, and they replaced him with Ignacio Ambriz. Under the leadership of Ambriz, Quintero fell out of favor and didn't produce the same quality of goalscoring, which resulted in his minutes going down. In addition to his lack of playing time in 2016, Quintero was declared out for an indefinite amount of time due to a blood clot in his leg. Blood clots can be very scary, with Minnesota fans knowing what it is like with former defender Jeb Brovsky. The defender had a life threatening scare at the end of 2016, a similar timeframe to Quintero. Brovsky recovered thankfully, as did Quintero. The Colombian gave thanks to fans and supporters on Twitter during this scare, prior to his return on the pitch.
Gracias por sus oraciones y mensajes abrazo de gol pic.twitter.com/UN4QKn7FNs— darwin quintero (@darwinJR3) September 23, 2016
Around the same time that Quintero was sidelined, their head coach “Nacho” Ambriz was sacked. That would mean Quintero would be on his third coach in a year, and that made his comeback even more difficult. To make matters worse, his 2016 campaign left him with a lackluster 2 goals and 8 assists. His 2017/18 campaign would definitely be an uphill battle, with him having to earn his starting spot while reclaiming top form. Quintero has struggled so far in his most recent campaign, scoring 4 goals and assisting 9 in 34 appearances while also tallying up 7 yellow cards. On January 24th 2018, Quintero landed in hot water after he was presumed to be aiming a shot in training towards an ESPN reporter, while narrowly missing. The video clip of the shot can be seen here, as well as a little more information on the situation.
Darwin Quintero tried to drill a reporter with a shot, then hilariously claimed it wasn’t intentionalhttps://t.co/hSfsLKET0z— Planet Fútbol (@si_soccer) January 25, 2018
Following that sequence of events, Quintero was suspended by the Club and they have presumably been shopping him around since. His value is an estimated 2.5 Million, although the price is surely negociable. Minnesota United FC are the front runners for the attackers signature, with the club looking to sign its first Designated Player. If quintero were to sign with the club, he would be their most expensive player ever while also being the most well known player to be acclimated with the club. Signing a player of his caliber shows the ambition of the organization and how they want to make a run for a playoff spot in 2018.
The most recent report on the transfer comes from Spanish Source, Univision Deportes. The well known and prominent website stated that the two clubs are in deep negotiations, although there has not been an agreement made yet. The source also went on to state that Minnesota are not the only suitors, although they have been the most ambitious of the bunch.
So, Minnesota fans: How do you feel about this news? What are your thoughts on the possibility of bringing in Carlos Darwin Quintero? Where would you want to see him play? Let us know! Respond in the comments or on twitter!