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.
You mean sign someone to stand behind Ibson in case he decides to back heel the ball to the opponent again?— Eirik Rennan (@eirikrennan) July 30, 2018
Yes, Eirik, that’s exactly what we’re looking for.
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.
I would not be shocked if they did nothing and said “We tried”— Greg Smith (@TheRealGregX) July 31, 2018
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.
That would depend on if we sign Benedetti or not.— Alex Hintz (@AlexHintz) July 30, 2018
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.
Unless someone identifies an appropriate target #6, my reaction would be “oh, I guess no one was selling.” It’s not like the perfect player is just a click away, waiting to be added to the Loons Amazon cart. I hope they find one, I’ll be happy if they do, I’ll survive if not.— Josh Taylor (@jscotttaylor81) July 30, 2018
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.
Then Heath better start playing Maximiano.— Mark Fangmeier (@mrfangmeier) July 31, 2018
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.
I would be disappointed but completely unsurprised. I don’t see Maximiano being our solution at all. The off season is the opportunity to fill this roll and go after a much needed center back.— Bill McGuire (@geargab) July 31, 2018
Bill hints at another, less urgent need for the team here but is right about the disappointment that many fans would feel here.
Incredibly disappointing. I don’t expect to ever see Sam Cronin on the pitch again, and that’s unfortunate. They would benefit from him being there.— John Olson (@jrolson1013) July 30, 2018
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.
This ⬇️ may be a bit much but HOW long has this been a glaring need?!?! Since the beginning of last season pic.twitter.com/DIj6yJbVtI— Lamont lommel (@LamontLommel) July 30, 2018
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?
Playoff hopes officially done for this season. Flashy new stadium feeling next season won’t last long if they keep playing like a bottom feeder team.— Tom (@pavel63) July 30, 2018
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.
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?”
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.