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Minnesota United captain Wil Trapp will return for 2023 season

The 29-year-old Ohio native will return to MNUFC for his third season with the club next year. Trapp had guaranteed compensation of $784,875 in 2022, per MLS Players’ Association figures.

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Minnesota United's Wil Trapp reacts toward the fan section after midfielder Jonathan Gonzalez scored in the second half Oct. 9, 2022, against Vancouver at Allianz Field in St. Paul. The Loons won 2-0 to make the MLS playoffs.
Star Tribune / TNS file photo
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ST. PAUL -- Minnesota United captain Wil Trapp will return for next season.

The Loons defensive midfielder’s contract in 2022 had a clause that would trigger his return for 2023 if the 10-year veteran reached a certain amount of playing time, a source told the Pioneer Press this summer.

That benchmark was reached, and the 29-year-old Ohio native will return to MNUFC for his third season with the club next year. Trapp had guaranteed compensation of $784,875 in 2022, per MLS Players’ Association figures. That’s a bigger number under the league’s salary budget.

Trapp played 2,127 minutes across 27 regular-season games (26 starts) this season. His season included wearing the captain’s armband for 26 games and the accumulation of a career-high 11 yellow cards, nearly double his previous season high of six.

The Loons’ midfield is the deepest spot on the roster but also one in flux.

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The upheaval started when Hassani Dotson, who had just received a contract extension, suffered a season-ending knee injury in April. The to-be fifth-year pro is targeting a return around preseason camp in January.

New addition Kervin Arriaga played in 24 matches, but with injuries to Trapp, Dotson and Arriaga, winger Robin Lod was forced to come back into midfield. The Finn handled the reassignment with aplomb, and Minnesota was solid with him in the middle of the park. Does Lod stay in midfield or go back into the attack?

Minnesota has two midfielders on expiring loans: Joseph Rosales from Panamanian club Independiente de La Chorrera and Jonathan Gonzalez from top Mexican club Monterrey.

Rosales has a less expensive purchase option, while it would likely take a bigger investment to keep Gonzalez in Minnesota on another loan in 2023.

The Loons also have a club option on Jacori Hayes, who broke his leg in a friendly against English club Everton in July.

This week, MNUFC will be conducting exit interviews with players. Players also will undergo physical exams. Full roster news on contract options will be shared by the club by at least early November.

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In the first round of the MLS Cup Playoffs last week, Trapp played all 120 minutes of the loss at Dallas on Oct. 17. He provided a great long ball to set up Emanuel Reynoso’s goal in the second half, but with the score tied 1-1 after the 30-minute extra time, Trapp was the only Loons player to miss a penalty kick in the 5-4 defeat.

“I think it’s one of those where half the time it’s a crapshoot,” Trapp explained about his PK. “Maybe you try to change it at the last second and if he dives the right way, but I’ve found if you are trying to change things, it gets messed up even more, so you just have to kind of trust what you are doing and pick a spot and go for it. The goalkeeper (FC Dallas’ Maarten Paes) guesses right and makes a good save.”

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Trapp’s season was interrupted in July when he suffered a leg injury against D.C. United, but despite initial fears, he only missed four games, returning Aug. 20 against Austin FC.

With the 2022 MLS season starting earlier than usual in February and ending weeks earlier than usual to accommodate the FIFA World Cup in November, Trapp said he will take a few weeks to decompress and let his body heal and rest after a long season.

“Honestly, you start ramping up not too much longer after that because we are competitors,” Trapp said after the playoff loss. “Our bodies want and crave to work. Going into November, December, it’s gearing up for a quick start beginning in January.

“Guys will go home. They will enjoy the holidays, but within that, you do start trying to build for next year, trying to assess the things in your game or in the team that you want to improve or you want to see grow. That is a big part of being a professional and staying at the professional level for a long time.”

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