ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

After pair of trades, Loons see upgrade in young attacking midfielders

Loons acquired 20-year-old wide attacking midfielder Cameron Dunbar from Los Angeles Galaxy.

SPORTS-LOONS-FIELD-MIXED-BAG-LINEUP-1-MS.jpg
Aziel Jackson was traded from Minnesota United to St. Louis City SC on Monday, Nov. 7, 2022. The Loons also acquired midfielder Cameron Dunbar from Los Angeles Galaxy for draft picks.
TNS file photo
We are part of The Trust Project.

ST. PAUL -- Minnesota United acquired one young attacking player and traded away another with a similar profile during the MLS trade window Monday.

The Loons acquired 20-year-old wide attacking midfielder Cameron Dunbar from Los Angeles Galaxy in exchange for a third-round pick in the 2023 MLS draft and up to $75,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM), if Dunbar meets certain performance-based metrics.

The Loons traded away 21-year-old central attacking midfielder Aziel Jackson to St. Louis City for $150,000 in GAM and up to $75,000 in additional GAM if Jackson meets certain performance-based metrics with the MLS expansion club.

“Given the two trades, I think we’ve upgraded the (midfielder) position,” Loons technical director Mark Watson told the Pioneer Press. “I think we got a player (Dunbar) who is a year younger that has first-team experience and has a really good track record when he goes down to the lower divisions to develop.”

Dunbar played in 18 MLS games in 2020-21. With L.A, Galaxy II, he scored 12 goals (three off penalty kicks) and had three assists in 2,856 minutes in USL Championship, a league considered above the level Jackson played in MLS NEXT Pro a year ago.

ADVERTISEMENT

“(Dunbar) is a really good, young kid, and we think he fits the club ethos in terms of work ethic,” Watson said. “He’s a really good fit for our culture.”

The Loons leader sees Dunbar, who is right footed, having the ability to play in wide areas on both sides of the field at the MLS level.

MORE MINNESOTA LOONS COVERAGE:
Pro
In late December, reports in Argentina said Reynoso faces the possibility of a trial over an alleged assault of a teenager in Dec. 2021.
Pro
Marques, who holds a Brazilian passport and is listed at 6-foot and 165 pounds, played 2,450 minutes for AFC Eskilstuna in Sweden’s second division in 2022.
Pro
Sources told the Pioneer Press this week Minnesota holds the MLS discovery rights to both Korean forwards.
Pro
The alleged incident occurred in December 2021
Pro
The Loons kick off the new season at FC Dallas at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 25.
Pro
The Loons added backup goalkeeper Clint Irwin and fullback Zarek Valetin via free agency last week.
Pro
Valentin made 53 appearances for the Houston Dynamo in the past three seasons.
Pro
The Loons acquired Rosales on an 18-month loan in August 2021, liked what they saw across 30 MLS matches.
Pro
Minnesota has yet to announce its end-of-season roster decisions, but Trapp, the club’s captain, and Miller are expected to be under contract in Minnesota for 2023.
Pro
Magee will vacate his role in the Loons’ front office in scouting and recruitment, which saw him routinely travel abroad in search of MLS talent.

“We see him as someone who is not penciled in to start right away, but a young hungry kid who deserves an opportunity,” Watson said. “We think the timing is right to add him to the group.”

The Loons acquired Jackson from New York Red Bulls in April 2021 for a third-round pick in the 2022 draft and no additional cost, so this move right now has a net positive. Jackson played only for the Loons developmental team, MNUFC2, in 2022, where he was named to MLS NEXT Pro’s Best XI with a league-high 70 key passes, 10 goals and seven assists.

MNUFC manager Adrian Heath expressed intrigue by Jackson’s upside, but also shared the midfielder needed to be more of a consistent professional.

Both the Dunbar and Jackson trades include clauses that if a transfer fee is paid for the player to go to a league outside MLS, 20 percent of the fee will go back to Galaxy and Loons, respectively. Dunbar will be a homegrown player, like Jackson was, and will occupy a spot lower on the roster.

MNUFC and St. Louis discussed a proposal that the new team wouldn’t take one of Minnesota’s unprotected players in Friday’s expansion draft, but it was not included in eventual deal, Watson said.

The Loons have submitted a list of 12 protected players which St. Louis City can’t take in Friday expansion draft. MLS will share the list of eligible players on Thursday.

ADVERTISEMENT

St. Louis will make five picks, but can only select a single player from any one club. If Minnesota has a player taken, the franchise will receive $50,000 in GAM.

______________________________________________________

This story was written by one of our partner news agencies. Forum Communications Company uses content from agencies such as Reuters, Kaiser Health News, Tribune News Service and others to provide a wider range of news to our readers. Learn more about the news services FCC uses here.

Related Topics: MINNESOTA LOONS
What To Read Next
Pro
Matt Boldy scored a pair of goals, Marc-Andre Fleury chipped in with 28 saves, and Mats Zuccarello scored the game-winner in overtime
Pro
A strong month of January has pushed Minnesota back toward the middle of the Wester Conference race
Pro
Evason: 'He’s going to be accountable for his actions in the last game'
Pro
New Orleans has now lost six straight games.