Minnesota United FC announces inaugural MLS roster
Minnesota United FC huddles before an exhibition match against Portland. (MNUFC Media Relations)

Minnesota United FC announces inaugural MLS roster

The roster is headlined by former Loon Miguel Ibarra, who played for them while they were in the North American Soccer League

stevie-larson
Stevie Larson

Minnesota United FC is just days away from opening their inaugural MLS season against the Portland Timbers, and they announced their opening match roster on Wednesday night.

Head coach Adrian Heath, who is in his first season as MNUFC's head coach, will carry 25 players, with three goalkeepers, eight defenders, 11 midfielders, and three forwards. 

Returning Players

Among those who are returning from prior seasons are Miguel Ibarra, Christain Ramirez, and Johan Venegas, all of whom played for MNUFC while they were in the North American Soccer League

Ibarra and Ramirez speak at their introductory press conference. (MNUFC Media Relations)

Defender Justin Davis has been named captain while defender Vadim Demidov has been named vice-captain for the inaugural MLS season. 

Full Roster

Here is the full roster.

GOALKEEPERS: John Alvbage, Patrick McClain, Bobby Shuttleworth
 
DEFENDERS: Francisco Calvo, Davis, Demidov, Joe Greenspan, Brent Kallman, Jermaine Taylor, Jerome Thiesson, Kevin Venegas
 
MIDFIELDERS: Bernardo Anor, Josh Gatt, Ibson, Ibarra, Ismaila Jome, Bashkim Kadrii, Collin Martin, Kevin Molino, Mohammed Saeid, Rasmus Schuller, Collen Warner
 
FORWARDS: Abu Danladi, Ramirez, Venegas

MNUFC finished last season with an 11-8-13 record in the NASL, putting them in fifth place, just outside of the playoffs. During the 2016 season, they made it to the fourth round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup tournament, where they lost to MLS side Sporting Kansas City. They also lost an exhibition match to Mexico's Club Leon 4-2. 

This will be the first time Minnesota has had an MLS team, as previously, the highest level of soccer was MNUFC's time in the NASL. MNUFC were created to replace the Minnesota Thunder, who played in the USL before disbanding due to financial troubles.

The Loons will open the season on Friday when they travel to Portland to take on the Timbers, who won the MLS Cup in 2015. Friday's game will be televised by FS1, and will kickoff at 9 p.m. CT. They will make their home debut on March 12 against fellow expansion side Atlanta FC. Their home games this year will be played at TCF Bank Stadium on the campus of the University of Minnesota. 


 

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