Minnesota united has started off the summer transfer window with a bang by securing the signature of highly-rated Ecuadorian winger, Romario Ibarra, and now, by adding the signature of Colombian striker, Angelo Rodriguez. Rodriguez is the second designated-player on Minnesota’s roster, along with fellow Colombian Darwin Quintero. Quintero has been an attacking revelation since his addition to the squad back in March and he has most notably been named the MLS player of the week after a heroic hat trick against reigning champions, Toronto FC.
Rodriguez had supposed interest from multiple MLS sides, but the Loons won his signature. The striker joins the attacking core of Miguel Ibarra, Christian Ramirez, Darwin Quintero, Abu Danladi, Mason Toye and the newly acquired Romario Ibarra. The 5’11 striker scored 6 goals this past season in 1,259 minutes while also claiming the 2018 Torneo Apertura league title with Deportiva Tolima in Colombia. The striker was deemed as a “throwback striker” by Head Coach Adrian Heath, and he also went on to explain a little more on his thoughts regarding his squad’s newest designated player: “If he gets in his spot in the box, you are not getting him off the ball. He backs in and he’s a big old unit. He’s all the things that defenders don’t like in the box. Certain players rely on good movement. He’s got good movement, but he’s also got a lot of strength.”
Rodriguez’s addition is a bit mind-boggling considering the squad already has Christian Ramirez and Abu Danladi, one of Major League soccer’s deadliest attacking duos. One factor to take into consideration is the injury problems that Danladi has been having over the past two-months, but the addition of Rodriguez also points to the direction that Heath has a lack of faith in Christian Ramirez. Ramirez has had a career-low in goal scoring so far this season, but one explanation could be the disaster of a midfield beneath him. Two season-ending injuries to stars Kevin Molino and Ethan Finlay along with long-term concussion issues surrounding Sam Cronin have put head coach Adrian Heath in a tough position with his midfield. Heath has been forced to play a rotating midfield of 35 year old Ibson, Finnish international Rasmus Schuller and either Collin Martin or Collen Warner. The three players have not seemed to merge well on the field, considering one of them is being played out of position in the “6” spot as well as the squad having no true “10”.
Angelo Rodriguez is an exciting addition, and hopefully he brings scoring capability with him up top, but his previous goal-scoring stats in Colombia prove otherwise. The Loons have managed a mere 5 goals from their strikers this season, and all have come from Christian Ramirez. Rookie Mason Toye has yet to land on the score sheet this season, but with this move, a loan to USL could be on the horizon for the 19 year old. Abu Danladi’s recovery is supposedly going well, and the second-year striker could return to first team action as soon as next week. Overall, the Loons need to start scoring more and with this addition, that may happen sooner than later.
Romario Ibarra is landing in Minnesota mid-week and could feature for the Loons as soon as Saturday, but Rodriguez will arrive next week. The Loons return to action tomorrow night in an international-friendly against Deportiva Saprissa and then league play this Saturday against Real Salt Lake.