Major League Soccer is back!
The Preseason starts today. It hasn’t been the high-tempo, upbeat offseason some of you expected for Minnesota United FC, following the departure of Kevin Molino and the continuing pursuit of a DP-caliber striker, but the Loons are in full gear and are ready to move.
The 2021 league schedule has not been released yet, but it’s expected to arrive sometime during the final weeks of March. For now, teams are prepping for their personal preseason scrimmages, friendlies, and tournaments. However, it’s only Day 1 of the preseason. There is a long way to go until any squad is match-fit ready.
The Loons are scheduled to compete in four preseason matches while training in Orlando.
March 27: vs. Charleston Battery at Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate
March 31: vs. Columbus Crew at Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate
April 3: vs. FC Cincinnati at Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate
April 9: vs. Orlando City, closed-door scrimmage
The club released a statement announcing that they will not stream the matches, nor will the general public be able to attend the matches.
For the safety of staff, fans, and players, all friendlies will be closed to the general public and will not be streamed. Look for updates on the MNUFC social media channels following the games. Minnesota will return to the National Sports Center on April 10 to conclude its preseason ahead of the 2021 MLS season opener on April 17.
The highlight of the tournament will see Molino play against the Loons. A club hero, Molino left following the conclusion of his four-year contract last year to join the Columbus Crew.
Here is the timeline of the moves Minnesota made this offseason:
- Dec. 13, 2020: MNUFC acquires defender Callum Montgomery via trade from FC Dallas.
- The transaction: MNUFC sends a conditional 2022 fourth-round Superdraft pick and $50,000 GAM (if certain performance parameters are met) to FC Dallas in exchange for Montgomery.
- Jan. 5, 2021: MNUFC acquires league veteran USMNT player Wil Trapp via Free Agency.
- Jan. 5, 2021: Loons midfielder Hassani Dotson called into the U-23 USMNT January Camp to train in preparation for the upcoming Olympic Qualifiers.
- Jan. 7, 2021: Kevin Molino officially departs Minnesota United after four years with the club.
- Jan. 21, 2021: The Loons select three players in Rounds 1 and 2 of the 2021 Superdraft:
- 17th overall: Midfielder Justin McMaster
- 18th overall: Defender Nabilai Kibunguchy
- 38th overall: Defender Sean O’Hearn
- Jan. 28, 2021: MNUFC acquires Finnish International defender Jukka Raitala from CF Montreal via trade.
- The transaction: MNUFC sends the rights to 2020 SuperDraftee Andrew Booth in exchange for Raitala.
- Feb. 2, 2021: MNUFC signs Brent Kallman, Adrian Zendejas, and Callum Montgomery to new contracts.
- Feb. 16, 2021: MNUFC signs defender DJ Taylor, who was out of contract after four years with USL Championship Side North Carolina FC.
- Feb. 26, 2021: MNUFC presents the River Kit.
- The details: The first all-blue kit since the club joined MLS in 2017, replacing the 2019 secondary “Snow-Drift” kit.
- March 1, 2021: Loons midfielder Hassani Dotson called into Olympic Qualifying training camp.
- March 2, 2021: MNUFC acquires league veteran and former USMNT player Juan Agudelo via free agency.
- March 4, 2021: MNUFC signs former Academy Player Patrick Weah to a Homegrown Contract. Weah is the Loons second Homegrown player, following Fred Emmings.
- March 6, 2021: MNUFC re-signs captain Ozzie Alonso to a new one-year contract.