Despite twelve teams passing on at least one of their late round selections, Minnesota United made use of both picks acquired from Orlando last week and added a pair of names to its preseason camp options on Day 2 of the MLS SuperDraft, taking Northern Illinois forward Kevin Rodriguez and University of Rio Grande center back Mitchell Osmond with their 4th round picks.
Kevin Rodriguez comes to the Loons after a four-year career for the Northern Illinois Huskies. Primarily playing as a winger, Rodriguez broke out in 2018 to tally two goals and nine assists on the season, earning the team’s first appearances in the Mid-American Conference Best XI and United Soccer Coaches All-Region Teams since 2015. A Texas native, Rodriguez spent time in the Houston Dynamo academy system as a youth player, and made a handful of appearances for USL League 2 side Brazos Valley Cavalry FC last season.
Mitchell Osmond was a standout player for University of Rio Grande, a NAIA program in Ohio. The Sydney, Australia native made nineteen appearances last season for the Red Storm, scoring four goals and two assists for a team that allowed an eye-popping seven goals in 21 games in 2018; in the process, he earned an NAIA All-American award and was the Riversouth Conference Defender of the Year. Osmond also appeared in 41 games for the Thunder Bay Chill of USL’s League 2 over the last three seasons, earning a spot on the league’s top college prospects list in 2017. The 6’3” defender made a solid showing in the MLS Combine for Team Copa.
Both Rodriguez and Osmond face steep odds to make the roster for Minnesota this year, not least because just sixteen total players selected in the third or fourth rounds of the SuperDraft since 2017 have signed terms with an MLS team, including players who initially signed with USL teams. For Rodriguez, winger is an impossibly full position for both Minnesota and Forward Madison FC; he’ll need to show an ability to score in preseason to make a case for the roster. Osmond was actually seen as a fringe second- or third-round talent, but because of his Australian citizenship will need to spend time developing for a team stateside to either show he warrants use of an international slot or the patience to get permanent residency status.