Franco Fragapane wants to remain with Loons, but are his days numbered in Minnesota?

Fragapane is on a team-friendly guaranteed compensation of $257,000, per MLSPA, and has been one of the most productive Loons over his two seasons.

MLS: Minnesota United FC at Sporting Kansas City
Minnesota United midfielder Franco Fragapane (7) controls the ball as Sporting Kansas City midfielder Remi Walter chases during the first half of the match Sept. 17, 2022, in Kansas City, Kansas.
Denny Medley / USA Today Sports
We are part of The Trust Project.

ST. PAUL -- Emanuel Reynoso and Franco Fragapane have a close relationship as Argentines playing for Minnesota United.

Reynoso signed a new three-year contract with the Loons last week, and Fragapane, who agreed to a four-year contract with MNUFC in May 2021, wants to play alongside his countryman for years to come.

“Hopefully, I can join him, too,” Fragapane said in Spanish through club translator Gabriela Lozada.

Fragapane told the Pioneer Press last week there was an offer for him to return to Boca Juniors in Buenos Aires, the club of his youth, but the 29-year-old’s desire is to continue with MNUFC.

“I’m really happy here — my family, too,” Fragapane added.


After the Loons’ 2-0 loss at San Jose on Saturday, Heath, in general, questioned why his players did not show a greater “attitude” to lock in a MLS Cup Playoffs spot compared to the last-place Earthquakes.

“Maybe it’s the makeup of some of the people we’ve got,” Heath said. “Maybe we have to look at that.” He didn’t name specific players.

After Tuesday’s training session, Heath reiterated a big issue of late being “really poor” energy levels, but broadened the scope. “As a staff, we have to take responsibility for that,” he said.

To make the playoffs, the Loons need a win or draw against Vancouver in the Decision Day finale at 4 p.m. Sunday at Allianz Field.

Against San Jose, Fragapane was MNUFC’s one and only substitution, coming out in the 66th minute. In the 4-1 loss to Sporting Kansas City on Sept. 17, Fragapane was the first player taken out of the match, and he was visibly upset as he exited.

Fragapane is on a team-friendly guaranteed compensation of $257,000, per MLSPA, and has been one of the most productive Loons over his two seasons. He has six goals and three assists this season; he had five goals and nine assists a year ago. He can provide value.

His 0.28 goals per 90 minutes has been third-best among regulars in both seasons.

Bonding with teammates, community

Off the field, Fragapane has worked to assimilate, taking regular English classes and showing a softer side with his man of the match donations going to the Animal Humane Society of Minnesota. He has bonded with teammates over Yerba Mate, a traditional South American drink, hooking Ghanaian Abu Danladi, and with American D.J. Taylor has been buying packages of the caffeinated beverage.


But Fragapane has contributed to the Loons’ recent struggles: only one point netted from an available 18 in their current six-game winless skid (0-5-1). Player suspensions have been damaging not only during this lull but all season long.

Against FC Dallas on Sept. 9, Fragapane received a yellow card in the 20th minute, triggering a one-game suspension for card accumulation. Then he received a second yellow in the 69th minute, which compounded to a red, and Minnesota was down to 10 men when it needed a big comeback in a 3-0 loss.

In late December, reports in Argentina said Reynoso faces the possibility of a trial over an alleged assault of a teenager in Dec. 2021.
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.
Sources told the Pioneer Press this week Minnesota holds the MLS discovery rights to both Korean forwards.
The alleged incident occurred in December 2021
The Loons kick off the new season at FC Dallas at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 25.
The Loons added backup goalkeeper Clint Irwin and fullback Zarek Valetin via free agency last week.
Valentin made 53 appearances for the Houston Dynamo in the past three seasons.
The Loons acquired Rosales on an 18-month loan in August 2021, liked what they saw across 30 MLS matches.
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.
Loons acquired 20-year-old wide attacking midfielder Cameron Dunbar from Los Angeles Galaxy.

The two suspensions cost Fragapane two key games — a 1-0 loss to Portland and a 1-1 draw with Los Angeles FC.

“The South American player, as kids, are taught to play to win and maintain passion for football,” Fragapane said about his style of play. “The truth is I like it. … I live for this, and I leave it all for football that way.”

Fragapane knows he has to try to self-govern his play at times but said that can be difficult.

“The truth is those are moments where one doesn’t think, when you have a lot of citations,” he said. “But after it happens to you, you think, ‘I won’t do it anymore.’ ”

Heath knows it’s a balancing act. “If you take that little bit of fire away from (Fragapane), it does dilute what he is as a player, and you can’t have that.”

The Loons will have their 10th player suspended for yellow-card accumulation on Sunday. Starting midfielder Kevin Arriaga was booked in the 10th minute at San Jose; Heath thought it was a poor call from the referee, but Arriaga will still be suspended for Sunday.


Heath believes there have been too many bookings this year for avoidable things outside of the course of play. “That is something that we’ve certainly addressed and will address more physically next year,” Heath said. “We can’t keep getting penalized for non-football issues really.”


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.

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