United striker Angelo Rodriguez’s two seasons in Minnesota ended Thursday when he was sent to a club back home in Colombia.
He will play on a one-year loan with club Deportivo Cali, Rodriguez told Colombia media on Thursday.
Rodriguez, 30, trained with United on Tuesday in Blaine even though coach Adrian Heath indicated Rodriguez’s departure could come any day. The team has decided to go forward with youth — Toye and soon-to-be-signed Paraguayan Luis Amarilla — at his position.
Rodriguez didn’t train Wednesday, when Heath said he had a sore back, or Thursday.
“He has been good, he’s Angelo,” Heath said Tuesday when asked about Rodriguez’s demeanor with his future in doubt. “He’s a good guy. It’s never easy when you have a lot of speculation in the offseason. Having been there as a player, it’s OK for you because that’s your job, but when you’ve got your wife, children, you’d like to get it sorted sooner rather than later.”
United acquired Rodriguez from Deportes Tolima in Colombia in a July 2018 transfer. He signed a contract with a $667,000 guaranteed compensation salary that filled the second of the team’s three allowed designated-player slots.
The Loons bought down his contract in August 2017 so it could extend that designated-player slot to newly acquired Thomas Chacon.
A scorer who utilizes his strength and ability to possess the ball away from defenders, Rodriguez started 10 of 11 games in which he played after he arrived that summer and scored four goals and had an assist in those 11 games.
A self-professed scorer who inevitably didn’t score enough goals, Rodriguez scored nine goals in 39 games over two seasons with United but didn’t score in his last 11 games last season.
He lost his starting job to Toye in late August and didn’t play in five of the next six games as a substitute before he replaced Toye at halftime in a home game against LAFC in the season’s final week.
He started the season finale at Seattle and United’s first playoff game, against the L.A. Galaxy at Allianz Field. His stretching header from close range went just wide of the goal in the 55th minute of a scoreless game that the Loons ended up losing 2-1 to the Galaxy.