Minnesota United exercised 2022 contract options on starters Wil Trapp and Romain Metanire and declined options for designated player Jan Gregus and original Loon Brent Kallman, while veterans Ozzie Alonso and Ethan Finlay became free agents in end-of-season roster decisions made Wednesday.
Gregus, 30, signed as a designated player in December 2018 and became a starter in the central midfield for two-plus seasons until an ankle injury and coach's decisions limited him to just 18 minutes played in last season's final three months.
He sat while Loons coach Adrian Heath turned to veterans Wil Trapp and Alonso and versatile Hassani Dotson instead in the central and defensive midfield roles.
Wednesday's decision opens a third and final designated player slot for a team that has star Emanuel Reynoso and striker Adrien Hunou also signed with that distinction.
Trapp, 28, is the nine-year MLS veteran and former U.S. men's national team member who signed before last season to fill the starting defensive midfielder position at which Alonso had starred the previous decade.
Alonso moved back in a starting defensive midfield role in late August — about the same time Gregus went to the sideline — and stayed there except for a one-game suspension in the regular-season finale at LA Galaxy.
Alonso's contract expires after this just-completed season, as does Finlay's.
Finlay was born in Duluth, raised in Wisconsin and acquired by trade with Columbus midway through the team's inaugural 2017 season. He played seven games in the 2018 season following ACL surgery but returned to play 33 games in 2019.
Kallman spent his entire pro career with the Minnesota club, beginning in 2013 in its pre-MLS days. He was the first Minnesotan to join the club when it transitioned to MLS, signing in January 2017 before its first season.
The Loons also declined contract options on Fanendo Adi, Juan Agudelo, Noah Billingsley, Jukka Raitala and Adrian Zendejas. They exercised options on prospects Justin McMaster, Nabi Kibunguchy, Callum Montgomery and DJ Taylor as well as Metanire.
Metanire, 31, signed a new deal in July 2020 with a team option after he originally signed with the team from his French team before the 2019 season.
MINNESOTA UNITED ROSTERED PLAYERS
GOALKEEPERS: Fred Emmings, Tyler Miller, Dayne St. Clair
DEFENDERS: Michael Boxall, Bakaye Dibassy, Chase Gasper, Nabi Kibunguchy, Romain Metanire, Callum Montgomery, DJ Taylor
MIDFIELDERS: Thomas Chacon, Hassani Dotson, Franco Fragapane, Niko Hansen, Jacori Hayes, Aziel Jackson, Justin McMaster, Robin Lod, Emanuel Reynoso, Joseph Rosales, Wil Trapp
FORWARDS: Adrien Hunou, Patrick Weah