Minnesota United exercised veteran defender Michael Boxall's 2024 contract option while declining designated player Ménder García's among many moves to finalize its end-of-season roster on Friday.
The Loons signed right back DJ Taylor to a two-year contract with a club option for 2026 as well.
The club's many decisions also included leaving defensive midfielder/captain Wil Trapp out of contract (for now), along with original Loons players Brent Kallman and Cameron Dunbar.
The Loons also declined contract options for veterans Bakaye Dibassy, Jan Grégus, Ismael Tajouri-Shradi and Eric Dick as well as prospects Emmanuel Iwe, Ryen Jiba and homegrown goalkeeper Fred Emmings.
But they're in negotiations to bring back Trapp — who made $850,000 in guaranteed compensation last season — as well as Tajouri-Shradi, Emmings and Dunbar on new financial terms.
García signed a designated player deal midway through the 2022 season after playing in Colombia all of his young career and scored four goals and one assist in 45 games across all competitions with the Loons, 21 of them starts. He never found the kind of goal-scoring form teammate and fellow forward Bongokuhle Hlongwane has.
The Loons exercised contract options on Honduran national teammates Kervin Arriaga and Joseph Rosales, veteran defender Zarek Valentin and young forward Tani Oluwaseyi along with Boxall, who at 35 made $703,097 in guaranteed compensation last season.
At regular season's end, Boxall said about his team option and possible return, "I'm not too worried. I'm a one-day-at-a-time guy and everything else will take care of itself down the road."
Taylor, 26, signed with the club as a free agent in February 2021. Before that, he played four seasons with former USL Championship team North Carolina FC after he started his pro career playing in Spain.
He started 29 of 30 MLS games he played last season, which was his third in Minnesota after he played 26 games in 2022 and eight in 2021.
Taylor's signing and Friday's other decisions are the first major personnel moves the club has made since hiring new Chief Soccer Offer and Sporting Director Khaled El-Ahmad. He still is under contract with Barnsley FC in England's third division and hasn't yet started with the Loons full time. He is being consulted on all sporting matters.
Friday's decisions leave the Loons with 21 rostered players: Forwards Hlongwane, Teemu Pukki, Patrick Weah and Oluwaseyi. Midfielders Emanuel Reynoso, Robin Lod, Caden Clark, Sang Bin Jeong, Hassani Dotson and Franco Fragapane as well as Arriaga and Rosales. Defenders Boxall, Taylor, Valentin, Micky Tapias, Devin Padelford, Ethan Bristow and Mikael Marques. Goalkeepers Dayne St. Clair and Clint Irwin.