Minnesota United without 8 players for Saturday’s game against Vancouver

Michael Boxall #15 of Minnesota United FC gestures during the MLS game between Minnesota United FC and FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium on February 25, 2023 in Frisco, Texas.  ((Photo by Omar Vega/Getty Images))

Minnesota United hosts Vancouver Whitecaps FC Saturday night at Allianz Field, and the Loons will be without eight regular players for the match.

Minnesota United has had seven players called up for international duty, and remains without suspended star midfielder Emanuel Reynoso. The starters on international duty include keeper Dayne St. Clair, Robin Lod, Michael Boxall, Kevin Arriaga, Bongokuhle Hlongwane and Kemar Lawrence. Reserve player Jose Rosales has also been called up.

They’ll be gone about a week with their international teams. Coach Adrian Heath wants them to embrace their opportunity.

"You’ve heard me say it a million times, I know what playing for England meant to me and I would never stop the players from going and representing their country. I think it’s something we should be proud of," Heath said at team training on Tuesday. "But when you’re losing six or seven starters, it’s not ideal."

He vowed that it won’t be a reason for how they play, win or lose, Saturday against Vancouver.

"I will not make an excuse in the fact that we’ve got eight players away this weekend. We have a squad of 28 players, and that’s why you have a squad of 28. At some stage you’re going to be called upon," Heath said. "When one door closes, it opens for other people. If you take it, it can be career-changing decisions sometimes."

Heath also had no update on Reynoso, who is still away from the team and suspended without pay. He didn’t report to preseason training because of what the Loons are calling "personal matters."

Without one of their top players, the Loons are off to a 2-0-1 start, with wins over FC Dallas and Colorado, and a 1-1 draw with the New York Red Bulls. Heath was asked if there’s a chance the Loons might not have Reynoso at all  this season.

"I don’t know that we’re at that stage. We want him back, there’s not a team in this league that wouldn’t benefit and be better with a fit and healthy Emanuel Reynoso. We’re hoping that’s what he’ll be for us in the near future," Heath said. "To get seven points in three games with what’s gone on is a testament of all the hard work everybody has done."


Minnesota United officials announced Wednesday morning they’ve signed South Korean attacker Sang Bin Jeong.

He most recently scored two goals in the 2022-23 season with Grasshoppers Club Zurich in Switzerland. In 2021 with Suwon Samsung Bluewings, he had six goals and two assists in 30 games. Jeong also has experience in the English Premier League.