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Midweek news: Loons lose Finlay to ACL tear, Alexi Gomez arrives and the trade deadline looms

Will the Loons find a last minute replacement for Ethan Finlay? Where will Gomez play? All of this in a wrap.

MLS: Minnesota United FC at New York Red Bulls Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Ethan Finlay ruled out for the rest of the 2018 season.

Minnesota United FC broke news yesterday that winger Ethan Finlay tore his ACL this past Sunday while playing the Seattle Sounders.

The winger has been a crucial part to the 2018 campaign for the Loons, with 2 goals and an assist on the season. Finlay had registered 10 shots on the season, five of them being on target through 7 matches and 540 minutes this season. He had recently developed a growing partnership on the right hand side of the field with Darwin Quintero and Tyrone Mears(although he is currently sidelined with injury). He is believed to have torn his ACL after being tackled to the ground by Sounders Rookie, Alex Roldan. The referee did not signal for a foul on the play, which caught the team and manager, Adrian Heath, by surprise. Take a look for yourself:

Alexi Gomez Arrives

Newly acquired Loanee Alexi Gomez has arrived to the club today while participating in his first training session as well. Gomez is a versatile left sided player who can feature as a fullback, midfielder or winger. He is on loan from Peruvian side Universitario de Deportes, where he featured in 110 matches, scoring 14 goals and assisting 17. He has most recently played for LIGA MX side, Atlas, but they terminated his loan after a breech of contract. It is unkown where he will feature for the Loons or when he will feature, but it is assumed that he was picked up to compete for first-team minutes. Fullback is the most likely opening, with both Marc Burch and Tyrone Mears being ruled out indefinitely; Carter Manley is the only healthy left-fullback.

Transfer Window

The MLS transfer window officially closes on May 1st at 11:59 pm ET. All MLS sides will have to complete roster moves by then, meaning if the Loons want to replace Ethan Finlay with a starting-caliber player, they will have to make that move quickly. I have come up with a shortlist of two players I think the club could go after, with both teams being open to acquisition and departure. There is also a strong possibility that the club makes no acquisitions, with the option of fielding both Miguel Ibarra, Sam Nicholson and Darwin Quintero on the field.

1.) Kelyn Rowe, New England Revolution

  • Kelyn Rowe is a well-known name among USMNT and MLS fans. The winger has been capped by the USMNT four times, scoring 1 goal. In 2017, you would see his name brought up as a top attacker in MLS, but 2018 has been different for him. New head coach, Brad Friedel, has pushed Rowe to the bench. He has only started two matches, while being substituted in three. He has not played 90 minutes in 2018 even though he has the ability to do so, and a change of scenery could be what kick-starts his 2018 season. If Minnesota were to offer Friedel and Co. somewhere around the same amount they paid for Kevin Molino (550-800 thousand), It would be an offer that would be hard to pass up.

2.) Daniel Royer or Marc Rzatkowski, NewYork Red Bulls

  • Daniel Royer plays on the wing for the Red Bulls, prominently on the left but has the ability to play on the right as well. The player is coming off a career-best 2017 season, where he scored 12 goals and assisted three. He has featured 10 times for New York this season, four times in MLS and six times in Concacaaf Champions League. Rzatkowski has the ability to start and there is a good chance he will claim a starting spot over Royer through 2018. If the Loons were to make an adequate offer, he could be a steal of a deal. He has played for the likes of Red Bull Salzburg in Austria, competing in the Europa League as well as Cha,pions League qualifiers. Another name to keep an eye on in New York is Derrick Etienne Jr. He is stuck on the depth chart behind Alex Muyl, and he would be the cheapest of the three if an offer were to be made. Royer and Rzatkowski will both be costing anywhere from 600-900 thousand while Etienne Jr. would be costing around 300 thousand.

3.) Tesho Akindele, FC Dallas

  • Tesho Akindele is an interesting prospect, and probably the player most in need of a change of scenery on this list. He has featured for less than 40 minutes this season, whereas last season he was starting at least half of their games and notably being used as a substitute in every match. He can play on the wing, right or left, while also having the ability to feature in the middle up top. Tesho was drafted in 2014 by Dallas, and has made 110 appearances over his three seasons, and now in his fourth season, he could be looking for a change. I would assume an offer in the 400 thousand dollar range would suffice, although, his style of play may not be what the team is looking for.

Again, there is a strong possibility that the team makes zero trades whatsoever, its probably more likely to be honest. Adrian Heath and Manny Lagos are both stubborn when it comes to player acquisitions, we have all learned that. If there is a player who is top of my list, its no doubt Kelyn Rowe. Adding a player of his quality to the midfield and attack would definitely bring forth more possession and connection up top, although, defense should be a priority for this squad. The summer transfer window could be an option as well, the team could look for improvements then, with the possibility of adding a second DP.