You probably don’t remember Eugene Starikov; after all, he didn’t make Minnesota United’s MLS roster. But he still dazzled in his brief time as a Loon.
What did he do?
He might go down as the best Loon to never make a regular season roster.
His pre-MNUFC playing career was certainly an interesting one: born in the Ukraine and raised in California, Starikov had stops across Eastern Europe, including with Russian giants Zenit St. Petersburg. He was even called into a United States Men’s National Team camp in 2011.
Starikov was a trialist with United during the 2017 preseason, spent down in Arizona. For a moment, he looked to be a great find and a potential star (sorry). In the Loons first preseason match, a 1-1 draw with the New England Revolution, Starikov was the lone goal-scorer. A few days later, he was the only one on the scoresheet in another 1-1 tie with Croatian side NK Istra 1961.
Check out one of his goals here:
How did he leave?
Starikov travelled with the team to the Portland Timbers’ preseason tournament that served as a final audition, but rather confusingly did not make the cut.
Where is he now?
The striker signed with the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League after rejection from United. He spent the remainder of the 2017 season there, scoring 4 goals in 27 appearances.
With the NASL’s collapse and lack of a second season, Starikov ended up with Indy Eleven of the USL for 2018. He’s featured in eleven matches so far with two goals this year.