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Reports: MNUFC very close to signing New Zealand defender

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Fifty-Five One and the Star Tribune are reporting that CB Michael Boxall is going to sign.

New Zealand v Portugal: Group A - FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017
Boxall (right) is a regular with New Zealand.
Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images

Reports from Fifty-Five One and the Star Tribune's Meg Ryan state that Minnesota United is set to sign defender Michael Boxall.

Boxall played most recently with SuperSport United of South Africa, where he made 44 appearances. He was released last week. He played college soccer with University of California Santa Barbara, and spent time with the Vancouver Whitecaps and their U-23 team. In his time at UC Santa Barbara, he was coached by the father of Justin vom Steeg, a young keeper who has been linked with Minnesota.

Michael Boxall has picked up 27 caps with the New Zealand national team, most recently at the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia.

Meg Ryan reports that Boxall participated in parts of Minnesota United's training session today and is in town to work out contract details.

Boxall would take up an international slot if signed, and the club does not have one open right now. Goalkeeper John Alvbage's loan expires on Saturday, which would open up a slot if the club does not exercise their option to extend the loan.

With Boxall expected to take on a depth role at centerback or right back, the question arises of why the Loons continue to look abroad for players. It seems unnecessary to use an international slot on a player who may not see the starting XI very often, especially when an adequate player could be found stateside.