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Loon Landings: March 18th, 2022

A look at Minnesota United FC’s news over the past week

September 25, 2021 - Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States - Minnesota United defender Chase Gasper (77) applauds The Wonderwall for their support in the 2-0 victory against during Houston Dynamo at Allianz Field. (Photo by Seth Steffenhagen/Steffenhagen Photography)

Over the past week, Minnesota United has made a few roster moves resulting in two new players coming to the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Last week, prior to the Loons match against the New York Red Bulls, MNUFC signed Devin Padelford as a Homegrown Player on a three year contract with two club options that follow the option.

“We’re really pleased and excited for Devin. He’s come a long way in the last 12 months to the extent that we feel he’s earned a professional contract,” said Head Coach Adrian Heath.

Padelford joined MNUFC’s Youth Development Programs U-19 club last year and played in 13 matches in MLS NEXT. The Maplewood native has also played for MSHSL high school programs at both St. Croix Academy and Woodbury High School, where he graduated from. In his Senior year with the Woodbury Royals he was named to the 2020 Class 2A All-State First Team along with being named to the All-Conference team.

On Wednesday, the club announced that defender Chase Gasper had entered Major League Soccer’s Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program for personal reasons. Since Gasper is in the SABH program he will be unavailable “for team activities until he has undergone an assessment and is cleared for participation by the SABH Program doctors.”

Yesterday it was confirmed that the Loons had finalized a trade with Toronto FC. The trade will send defender Kemar Lawrence to the Loons while college protected period priority rights for 2021 MLS SuperDraft pick Sean O’Hearn and a conditional $50,000 in General Allocation Money in either 2022 or 2023. Toronto will acquire the GAM if “certain performance metrics are met.”

The 29 year old Lawrence will join Minnesota after spending one season with Toronto FC. The Jamaican international has 143 MLS appearances and has 70 caps with the Jamaican national team.

“Kemar [Lawrence] is a player we’ve been looking at for three to four years. He’s someone who is highly experienced and knows the league inside out,” said MNUFC Head Coach Adrian Heath. “He’s just come back from a successful spell at Anderlecht, playing in the biggest club in Belgium, where he did so well, they wanted to keep him. [We are] delighted to bring him in. A lot of competition for places, and it just got heightened even more with this introduction. Really pleased he’s decided to join us, and we think he’s going to be a great addition to the squad.”