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Sign a Six or Bust: What will happen if MNUFC doesn’t add one?

It boils down to whether or not this season matters.

A fan shows the ref a yellow card during Minnesota United’s 2-1 win vs The New England Revolution
Tim C McLaughlin

There are quite a few things Minnesota United fans cannot agree on.

Should Christian Ramirez be traded? Is it time for Adrian Heath to move on? Who should pair with Miguel Ibarra as a wingback?

But even with all of those separate debates, there is one belief that Loons fans united in: the team needs a number six, or holding midfielder.

Yes, Eirik, that’s exactly what we’re looking for.

There have been options thrown out there and Minnesota reportedly bid for Dax McCarty of the Chicago Fire, but as of yet, nothing concrete as to a potential move.

The defensive-midfield-sized hole in the lineup is glaringly obvious, but with only a week left in the summer transfer window, filling that hole will be a race against time.

Since a number six is such a crucial need for the Loons, we asked you for your thoughts about the possibility that one does not arrive—and don’t worry, I’ll give my own here too.

This wouldn’t surprise me either, Greg. The report of an offer for McCarty does mean that they technically tried, though we don’t know just how competitive or close that offer was. Perhaps the plan was to bring him in and there was no other option.

I have to admit I’m a little confused by this one, Alex. Nicolas Benedetti, the oft-linked Colombian attacker is not a defensive midfielder, in fact, he’s more in the mold of Darwin Quintero. While he’d be an entertaining, if vain, addition to the squad, he wouldn’t solve any problems at holding mid.

This is certainly a possibility, Josh, though I’m not certain of it. MLS teams should find it easier to purchase teams in the summer window, which is generally more popular because of the abilities for European teams to splash the cash ahead of their upcoming seasons. Clubs around the world, like Deportivo Cali in the case of Benedetti, choose to play the waiting game and hope for bigger offers to come in the summer instead of taking an offer in January. But yes, we all will survive if the Loons do not add a no. 6.

Ooh, here we go. Mark points out a potential solution to our little problem who’s been hiding in plain sight this whole time. But is Maximiano really the answer? He might be branded as such, but he is still relatively untested. That said, it couldn’t hurt to give him a look if there truly isn’t any other talent within reach.

Bill hints at another, less urgent need for the team here but is right about the disappointment that many fans would feel here.

John is correct here about Sam Cronin—a return to soccer doesn’t look easy for him at this point. He was a solid and remedying presence in the midfield last year and his absence has been felt. It would not be a good strategy to bank on his return next year though.

Though last year may have been the need of the centerback, this year has certainly been the need of the six. The need is, as we’ve said, obvious. So why not address it?

And here’s where I’ll introduce my take. It goes along with Tom’s, but is plenty hot.

If Minnesota United do not sign a number six before August 8th, the summer window is a failure. I look at it this way: If United signed a six, and only a six—no other players, this window would be a success. That’s how important it is.

A fan enjoys Minnesota United’s 5-1 victory over LAFC
Tim C McLaughlin

I won’t say that this team can’t make the playoffs without one—getting points on the road is more important for ending up above the red line. But I will say that leaving the defensive midfield hole open looks an awful lot like the front office giving up on the 2018 season.

We’ve known from the get-go that these first two seasons in MLS are an extended and glorified 2019 preseason. But there’s a legitimate chance for the Loons to do something this year, and that shouldn’t be thrown away.

The team is consistently drawing crowds of 22,000 plus, most of whom are paying for their tickets. Should they keep settling for “we tried?”

Fans enjoy Minnesota United’s 5-1 victory over LAFC
Tim C McLaughlin

If there are truly no players available—which is extremely difficult to believe—then that’s that. But that hasn’t been the indication or the narrative of the window so far.

Angelo Rodriguez will be a dandy player for the Loons, but, like the possibility of Benedetti, it’s in the name of vanity, not success. In order for success to happen, this team needs a six.

Let’s hope that we’re welcoming our new defensive midfielder in a week’s time.

Thanks to everyone who shared their thoughts with us on Twitter! We weren’t able to include every response, but we hope that we’ve touched on most of the primary sentiments. As always, feel free to share your expanded thoughts in the comments section below.