Ismael Tajouri-Shradi returned to Major League Soccer on Thursday, signing for the remainder of Minnesota United's season with 2024 and 2025 club options.
Tajouri-Shradi, who was observed at Loons practice for the first time Wednesday, will not occupy an international roster spot. He became a permanent U.S. resident in February 2019 while with New York City FC.
Across his four seasons with that club, the 29-year-old Libyan winger netted 26 goals in 84 MLS matches from 2018-2021 before his brief stint with Los Angeles FC was mired by health issues.
"He wanted to get back in the league, and the minute we found that out, we explored it and we kept pushing it," Heath said Wednesday. "His last year has been a bit stop and start with him with his injury."
He appeared in only six matches for the Black and Gold amid separate injuries to his pelvis, hamstring and leg, the last of which also kept him sidelined for the entirety of his stay with the New England Revolution.
Revolution coach Bruce Arena claimed that LAFC didn't disclose information regarding the injury, which he reportedly called "potentially career-ending."
"It wasn't that big," Tajouri-Shradi said. "That's [a] story between New England and LAFC."
After six months in Europe with Cyprus first-division team AC Omonia, Tajouri-Shradi adamantly said he is ready to revive his past form. He scored one goal in 14 appearances for Omonia.
"I am already back," Tajouri-Shradi said. "I'm healthy and feel that I showed that the last six months back in Europe. Maybe the MLS, I don't know — they didn't see that."
Heath cited his veteran résumé, which also includes six matches played with the Libyan national team, as an assuring factor.
Perhaps the Loons' seventh-year coach remembered when Tajouri-Shradi tallied two goals and an assist for NYCFC in the first match ever played at Allianz Field on April 13, 2019, which ended in a 3-3 draw.
"Certainly, he's got the pedigree to play and play well in this league and score goals in this league," Heath said. "We think he'd be a nice little piece to add till the end of the season, and we'll take it from then."