Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Six takeaways from Loons manager Adrian Heath’s preseason press session

Minnesota United manager Adrian Heath had his first press meeting on Tuesday after the Luns were eliminated from the first round of the MLS Cup playoffs in November.

Heath first turned to new draft pick Tanya Oluwaseya, a 6’2 ” Nigerian-Canadian striker from St. John’s, NY, who was taken 17th by the loons in Tuesday’s MLS SuperDraft.

Heath then addressed a wide range of players and topics ahead of Monday’s pre-season camp at National Athletic Center in Blaine.

Here are the main takeaways:


According to Heath, All-Star midfielder Emanuel Reinoso will be “for sure” with the loons when the team opens camp. In December, 26-year-old Reinoso was detained for a week in prison on charges of assaulting a 16-year-old in his native Cordoba, Argentina.

“We are working with MLS and are continuing to review all of the allegations made,” Heath said. “But at the moment we are not going to make any other comments. Ray will be with us next week. We’ve talked to him regularly over the past few weeks and it looks like things have settled down. ”


After giving Thomas Chacon on loan to Uruguayan club Liverpool last season, the Loons appear to be preparing to buy out his contract, which is now part of the U-22 initiative.

“We’re currently in talks with Thomas and his agents to decide what we’re going to do and how best to move forward,” Heath said. “Hopefully we’ll have something in the next few weeks.”


Oluwaseyi scored 20 goals in his first three seasons at St. John’s and was listed on the watchlist for the Hermann Trophy – the college football Heisman Trophy – but with a kneecap dislocated he only played two games in the fall of 2021. Loons Feel Injury release made him available at number 17.

“We think the risk / reward was worth it,” Heath said. “If he hadn’t been injured, I don’t think we’ll catch him.”

After a five-month recovery process, Oluwaseyi was able to return to the game at the Greater Eastern Conference at the end of the season and reported that his knee is now “doing well.” He was thrilled to be chosen by the MLS and joined by Loons.

“This is the best two hours – probably so far – of my life,” he said.


Given the ages of the top center-backs – Michael Boxall (33), Bakaye Dibassi (32) and Brent Kallman (31) – the loons need to develop a succession plan for this position, possibly with the arrival of a young U-22 player. deal.

“We would like to bring in one or two people as stunt doubles for Boxy, Dibassi and Brent,” Heath said. “They were amazing to us and we still expect them to be that way for the next 18 months or two years.”


Heath said he expects the club to announce players in the next few days. Former striker Luis Amarilla is expected to be one of them. Heath added that they want to sign a defender, perhaps someone who can compete on both the left and right.


Thomas Williamson, a 22-year-old striker from Anaheim Hills, California, signed with MNUFC 2, the new Division 2 team, in 2022. The US Championship last season, where he scored six goals in 27 games.


Boxall will play for New Zealand before joining the Luns in pre-season camp in February. … New striker Bongokule Hlongwane is going through the visa process to travel from South Africa. … Kallman’s new two-year contract became official on Tuesday.

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