Minnesota United announced roster decisions on 15 players by Monday’s league deadline.
The Loons picked up contract options on captain midfielder Wil Trapp, last year’s first-round pick and forward Tani Oluwaseyi and budding right back D.J. Taylor.
The Loons declined an available one-year contract option with backup goalkeeper Tyler Miller, but are negotiating a potential extension, the club said. He earned $445,928 last year and made two starts at the beginning of 2022 before Dayne St. Clair took over for the rest of the season.
The club didn’t move Miller during an MLS trade window early last week and then left the 29-year-old unprotected for St. Louis City’s expansion draft but he wasn’t taken late last week.
MNUFC declined options on reclamation striker project Abu Danladi, former MLS All-Star right back Romain Metanire and a pair of once-promising center back candidates in Nabi Kibunguchy and Callum Montgomery.
Danladi, the club’s first overall pick in 2017 MLS draft, was brought back in 2022 under the pretense of there being “unfinished business” after multiple muscle injuries cost him a lot of playing time during his first stint (2017-19). He managed to score only two goals in 634 MLS minutes a year ago.
Romain Metanire, 32, was one of the club’s best players in their first season at Allianz Field in 2019, but hamstring injuries severely limited him in 2022. The Mali international played only 22 MLS minutes and will be given an opportunity to start fresh elsewhere.
The Loons need young center backs on its first-team roster, but cut bait on its two in-house candidates in Kibunguchy and Montgomery. They won’t be asking either of these two option to make the jump to MLS.
Loons are also moving on from second-team attacker Justin McMaster, who is coming off a goal in his debut for the Jamaican national team last week and three depth pieces: midfielder Jacori Hayes, fullback Oniel Fischer and winger Niko Hansen.
Third-string goalkeeper Erik Dick is out of contract, but is expected to return to MNUFC in 2023.
Young midfield prospect Joseph Rosales’ option-to-buy clause with Panamanian club Independiente de La Chorrera is expected to be picked up by MNUFC after an 18-month loan. Fellow mid Jonathan Gonazalez’s loan from Monterrey has ended, but the club said it is in contract negotiations. Gonzalez’s price tag with the Liga MX club is much more substantial than Rosales. MNUFC also has the option to bring Gonzalez back on another loan for 2023.
Loons current roster
Forwards: Luis Amarilla, Mender Garcia, Tani Oluwaseyi, Patrick Weah
Midfielders: Emanuel Reynoso, Robin Lod, Franco Fragapane, Bongi Hlongwane, Kervin Arriaga, Hassani Dotson, Wil Trapp
Defenders: Kemar Lawrence, Michael Boxall, Bakaye Dibassy, Brent Kallman, DJ Taylor, Alan Benitez, Devin Padelford
Goalkeepers: Dayne St. Clair, Fred Emmings