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Loon Landings: August 12th, 2021

Some news from the past week in MNUFC

July 24, 2021 - Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States - Minnesota United forward Juan Agudelo (21) holds up the ball from Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri (8) during the closing moments of the match at Allianz Field. (Photo by Seth Steffenhagen/Steffenhagen Photography)

The last week has brought us quite a bit of news for Minnesota United. From new players, to players possibly leaving, a new CEO, and Ecolab certification.

MNUFC Acquires Joseph Rosales on 18 month Loan

Last Friday shortly after buying out Ike Opara’s contract acquired midfielder Joseph Rosales. He comes to the Loons on an 18 month loan from Club Atlético Independiente de La Chorrera in Panama’s Liga Panameña de Fútbol. The 18 month loan will keep the Honduran International with MNUFC technically through the end of January 2023. However realistically he will be with Minnesota for the remainder of 2021 and the 2022 seasons.

“The first time we noticed the young man was during Olympic qualifiers,” said MNUFC Head Coach Adrian Heath. “He held his own against the USMNT midfield and one of our own in Hassani Dotson.”

Rosales has made 37 appearances, including five in the Concacaf Champions League, and scored two goals for CAI since he joined the side in the 2018-19 season. He also represented the Honduras U23 Men’s National Team at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics last month where they went 1-0-2 with three points and did not progress to the knockout stage.

Shari Ballard announced as new MNUFC CEO

On Tuesday at Allianz Field the club announced that former Best Buy executive Shari Ballard would take over as the new CEO of the club. She will replace the outgoing CEO Chris Wright once he completes the season and process of stepping down from the club.

Bill McGuire said: “Shari is an extraordinary individual whose personal character, commitment to people and our community, passion for sports, and exceptional experience leading and working with others to grow and strengthen a locally-based, international company and brand is without reproach.”

Allianz Field is the first MLS Stadium to get Ecolab Science Certified seal

This afternoon the club also announced the stadium is the first one in Major League Soccer to get the Ecolab Science Certified seal. The stadium is not the first facility in the Twin Cities to get the certification as St. Paul’s Xcel Energy Center received it earlier this year. The St. Paul Saints (AAA, Minnesota Twins) have also been working with Ecolab since opening CHS Field at the start of the 2015 American Association Baseball season.

“We have the best stadium in soccer and the best fans in soccer and they are both critical to our success,” said MNUFC CEO Chris Wright. “When we designed Allianz Field we focused primarily on the experience of the fan. In addition to an incredible viewing experience we want our fans to have confidence that when they come to a game to support their team, they see our commitment to helping keep them safe. That’s why we have worked with our incredible partner in Ecolab to help ensure fan safety by implementing Ecolab Science Certified.”