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RE: Soccer Made in Minnesota

 
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RE: Soccer Made in Minnesota - 12/21/2018 10:28:12 AM   
TJSweens


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This signing looks like what Jeff is pushing for. They laid out significant coin for a European player in his prime. He's played for the Slovakian senior national team since 2015.

Minnesota United signs high-priced Jan Gregus to fill defensive midfield hole

By ANDY GREDER

For more than a season, Minnesota United’s biggest weakness has been at defensive midfielder, and the Loons hope they have have filled that gap with the high-priced signing of Jan Gregus on Thursday.

The 27-year-old Slovakian has played the past two-plus seasons for FC Copenhagen, the No. 1 team in Denmark’s top league, and 6-foot-3, two-way player has made 22 appearances for the Slovakian senior national team since 2015.

“It’s a guy in the prime of his career from a big club and has a lot of European experience and big European moments,” said United sporting director Manny Lagos. “… He comes from a club that has been in European competition 12 out of 13 years. There is an expectation of quality and excellence and winning, and he’s going to bring that to us.”

With Minnesota allowing a league-worst 141 goals in its first two MLS seasons, Gregus “embraces that roll sitting in front of the back four and really dictating the tempo in the play,” Lagos said.

Gregus will become one Minnesota’s three Designated Players, the highest-level MLS contact that carries big expectations. Attacking midfielder Darwin Quintero and forward Angelo Rodriguez occupy the other two DP spots.

“He’s somebody that’s going to lead because he’s got great skill on the field, and he’s going to open up the play and get the ball to good attacking players in spots because he’s so technically good with both feet and good at spraying the ball around the field.”

United has been without a primary defensive midfielder since Sam Cronin went down with concussion and neck issues in August 2017 and missed the final nine games of that first season. He suffered another head injury in the 2018 preseason and didn’t play at all last season.

United didn’t pursue long-term deals with Brazilian defensive midfielders Maximiano or Fernando Bob after last season and they didn’t renew the contract of Collen Warner.

Gregus has made 107 appearances for FC Copenhagen, including an appearance in the 2016 EUFA Champions League and the current Europa League. With an ability to take set pieces, he has scored two goals in 18 games this season, according to soccerway.com.


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Baseball must be a wonderful game to survive the fools who run it. - Harold Kaese
Post #: 151
RE: Soccer Made in Minnesota - 12/21/2018 12:51:37 PM   
Jeff Jesser


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quote:

ORIGINAL: joejitsu

Damn. First loss in something like 20 matches! But, we're in the hunt right now. And, a lot of the younger guys look really good. Guendouzi plays well every time he gets a chance on the field. Tottenham will be a test tomorrow.



Spuds burned us on the counters. We huffed and puffed but it wasn't enough. We need 2 D signings before we can truly compete.
Post #: 152
RE: Soccer Made in Minnesota - 12/21/2018 12:54:02 PM   
Jeff Jesser


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quote:

ORIGINAL: TJSweens

This signing looks like what Jeff is pushing for. They laid out significant coin for a European player in his prime. He's played for the Slovakian senior national team since 2015.

Minnesota United signs high-priced Jan Gregus to fill defensive midfield hole

By ANDY GREDER

For more than a season, Minnesota United’s biggest weakness has been at defensive midfielder, and the Loons hope they have have filled that gap with the high-priced signing of Jan Gregus on Thursday.

The 27-year-old Slovakian has played the past two-plus seasons for FC Copenhagen, the No. 1 team in Denmark’s top league, and 6-foot-3, two-way player has made 22 appearances for the Slovakian senior national team since 2015.

“It’s a guy in the prime of his career from a big club and has a lot of European experience and big European moments,” said United sporting director Manny Lagos. “… He comes from a club that has been in European competition 12 out of 13 years. There is an expectation of quality and excellence and winning, and he’s going to bring that to us.”

With Minnesota allowing a league-worst 141 goals in its first two MLS seasons, Gregus “embraces that roll sitting in front of the back four and really dictating the tempo in the play,” Lagos said.

Gregus will become one Minnesota’s three Designated Players, the highest-level MLS contact that carries big expectations. Attacking midfielder Darwin Quintero and forward Angelo Rodriguez occupy the other two DP spots.

“He’s somebody that’s going to lead because he’s got great skill on the field, and he’s going to open up the play and get the ball to good attacking players in spots because he’s so technically good with both feet and good at spraying the ball around the field.”

United has been without a primary defensive midfielder since Sam Cronin went down with concussion and neck issues in August 2017 and missed the final nine games of that first season. He suffered another head injury in the 2018 preseason and didn’t play at all last season.

United didn’t pursue long-term deals with Brazilian defensive midfielders Maximiano or Fernando Bob after last season and they didn’t renew the contract of Collen Warner.

Gregus has made 107 appearances for FC Copenhagen, including an appearance in the 2016 EUFA Champions League and the current Europa League. With an ability to take set pieces, he has scored two goals in 18 games this season, according to soccerway.com.




It's the type of signing that will help, for sure. Not sure about the actual guy though, never seen him play. Having a good/solid 6 will do wonders to a defense. It's a very tough position to find the right guy. That position, above all others, is all about the right attitude.
Post #: 153
RE: Soccer Made in Minnesota - 12/21/2018 4:22:40 PM   
TJSweens


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Wow! That was an actual lukewarm endorsement from Jeff.

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Post #: 154
RE: Soccer Made in Minnesota - 12/26/2018 5:22:49 PM   
joejitsu

 

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1-1 against BHA?!? We need to either sign some defensemen who are comfortable playing back, or scheme the dmen to play way deeper than they currently do.
Post #: 155
RE: Soccer Made in Minnesota - 1/14/2019 2:09:13 PM   
TJSweens


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Minnesota United made a couple more moves:

1. They finagled the top pick in the waiver order and picked up Ozzie Alonso, who is a multi time all star from Seattle. Since he has his U.S. citizenship, he doesn't take up one of their international slots. This move and signing Jan Gregus goes a long way toward shoring up the pathetic defense.

2. Picked NCAA champ goalie Dayne St. Clair, from the University of Maryland and Canadian youth national team in the super draft. Then they traded for #15 and took St. Clair's teammate left fullback Chase Gasper. St. Clair is supposed to be the best goalkeeper in the draft. A MLSsoccer.com reporter, Bobby Warshaw, says Gasper is “the most pro-ready outside back of everybody getting drafted.”

3. The Pioneer Press says the Loons offered a two-year contract to Romain Metanire, a right back who plays for Stade de Reims in the top French league. He's 28.

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Baseball must be a wonderful game to survive the fools who run it. - Harold Kaese
Post #: 156
RE: Soccer Made in Minnesota - 1/14/2019 2:51:58 PM   
Jeff Jesser


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Stade de Reims is a mid table side and the French League one has some really good teams. He's going to be tested for sure. PSG are a world powerhouse.
Post #: 157
RE: Soccer Made in Minnesota - 1/28/2019 9:46:49 AM   
TJSweens


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The Pioneer Press confirmed that Minnesota United dug deep into their allotment money and signed Romain Metanire from the top French league. He is a right back. I'm a neophyte at all of this, but it would appear that the Loons have come up big in their efforts to overhaul their defense by adding Metanire, Alonso and Gregus. They are also getting Ethan Finlay and Kevin Molino back. Both were out all last year with knee injuries. According to Heath, one of the worst parts of the defensive players' games last year was that they took too long to recognize where to go with the ball on the rare occasions that they made stops. He claims Darwin Quintaro would always find the open seam on those occasions and the defenders were constantly too late to recognize it. These guys are all supposed to excel at that part of the game.

The offense should have a good uptick as well with a full season of Darwin Quintero, Angelo Rodriguez and Romario Ibarra playing together.

Word is they are still looking for a middle defender and a starting goalie. They gave up trying to get a really good goal keeper from Argentina when some serious accusations and evidence of him committing domestic abuse surfaced.

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Baseball must be a wonderful game to survive the fools who run it. - Harold Kaese
Post #: 158
RE: Soccer Made in Minnesota - 1/28/2019 5:03:09 PM   
Jeff Jesser


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Overall I've also been pretty impressed with the moves they've made this year. The years before? Nah, that seemed like it was more of the same MN sports scene. They don't really have any big names but we have to be realistic with that. If you're a big name in the game, and come to MLS, it's either 1 of 2 reasons:

You are washed up and want to have your kids grow up in America
You can still play and want a change of scenery. That's guys like Ibra and again, lets be honest. Those guys are going to 1 of 5 places only:

NYC
Miami
LA
Chicago
DC
Post #: 159
RE: Soccer Made in Minnesota - 1/28/2019 5:06:45 PM   
Jeff Jesser


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Anytime you get a relatively young guy from any of the leagues/teams, it's probably a good sign:

Premiership
Seria A
League 1
Bundesliga
La Liga

Boca Juniors
River Plate
Rangers
Celtic


Now, when you are getting young guys from the top Finish league......you have a problem.
Post #: 160
RE: Soccer Made in Minnesota - 1/29/2019 9:26:14 AM   
TJSweens


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And now they addressed the center back position in a big way.

Loons trade for top MLS center back Ike Opara from Kansas City

Minnesota United’s defensive overhaul continues to be bolstered by veterans known as some of the best in Major League Soccer.

The Loons traded for lauded 6-foot-2 center back Ike Opara from Sporting Kansas City, the club announced Monday. The Loons will give its Western Conference rival $900,000 in Targeted Allocation Money and up to $100,000 more based on incentives, the club said.

This move comes on the heels of the Loons bringing in former Seattle defensive midfielder Ozzie Alonso, a 33-year-old, four-time MLS all-star and MLS Cup champion, in an acquisition with the Sounders and Orlando City on Jan. 10. United has also added right back Romain Metanire for France’s Ligue 1 and Jan Gregus from the Danish SuperLiga. Each player is north of 27 years old.

“We’ve been laser-focused on adding starters in key positions of need this offseason, and we feel that Ike (Opara) is an excellent addition to a really good core group of defenders already on our roster,” United sporting director Manny Lagos said in a statement. “He provides a wealth of MLS experience — he is coming off of two great years.”

Opara, 29, was named MLS defender of the year and to the league’s Best XI in 2017. With two years left on his contract, he sought a raise from the $342,000 he earned in 2018, per the Kansas City Star, with Sporting instead opting to trade him.

The Loons are spending a portion of the $800,000 in allocation money acquired in the trade of forward Christian Ramirez to Los Angeles FC last August, a source told the Pioneer Press.

Opara has been with Sporting’s preseason training in Scottsdale, Ariz., and could join the Loons in nearby Tucson soon.

Opara has been a mainstay in the middle of Kansas City’s defense for the past three seasons. He played in 25 games in 2016, 30 games in 2017, and a career-high 31 games in 2018, which ended in a Western Conference final loss to the Portland Timbers.

The Durham, N.C., native and product of Wake Forest was drafted third overall in the 2010 SuperDraft. He played sparingly across three seasons for the San Jose Earthquakes and also couldn’t consistently break into K.C.’s starting XI for another three years.



It's not from one of the top leagues, but it is a top MLS player at his position and in his prime. The only box left to check on their off season wish list is for a starting goalie.

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Baseball must be a wonderful game to survive the fools who run it. - Harold Kaese
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