Minnesota United confirmed a player’s positive test for COVID-19 before Wednesday’s home game against Colorado but said all other first-team players and staff returned consecutive negative results.
The game proceeded as scheduled while the player self-isolates until he is cleared by the club’s medical staff.
MLS and Minnesota United policies don’t identify players or staff who test positive unless that person gives permission. Attacking midfielder Emanuel Reynoso and defender Jose Aja did so after each tested confirmed positive, postponing an Oct. 11 game at FC Dallas.
Starting left back Chase Gasper was not in a Wednesday starting 11 that adjusted by playing veteran Bakaye Dibassy at Gasper’s position and starting Brent Kallman at Dibassy’s center-back spot. That was his first MLS start since September 2019.
Heath also started Aaron Schoenfeld — who scored Saturday’s winner in a 1-0 stoppage time victory at FC Cincinnati — at striker to fulfill a “gentlemen’s agreement” with Colorado concerning Kei Kamara.
The teams agreed in last month’s trade that Kamara wouldn’t play when the teams met Wednesday. Heath called such a deal a practice common in Europe.
“But we’re not in Europe, we’re in America,” said Kamara, who heard about the arrangement after last month’s trade. “It’s hard just to go through it since I heard about it.”
Heath adjusted up front by moving Reynoso back into the 11 with Kevin Molino on his left and Robin Lod back on his right with Ethan Finlay designated a substitute.
Time ticks on Opara
Time has just about ticked out on two-time MLS Defender of the Year Ike Opara playing again this season.
“Not officially,” Heath said when asked if he has counted Opara out. “But obviously, the amount of time he has been out, it would be an incredible turnaround to get him fit and up and running and available for some of the games.”
Loons pursue USL player
The Loons are aimed at signing USL Championship midfielder Sam Gleadle, a 24-year-old Englishman. He has played the past two seasons for Reno 1868 FC, whose playoffs ended nearly two weeks ago, according to a source with knowledge of the matter.
Gleadle can play both midfield and fullback and started 17 of 18 games he played this season.
• Loons midfielder Hassani Dotson jogged lightly on the field before Wednesday’s game, an encouraging sign for his ankle injured by a Houston player with a dangerous tackle on Oct. 18.
• MLS End of Year awards nominees are out. Here are Loons on its list: Defender Michael Boxall for the Landon Donovan MLS MVP and Defender of the Year, veteran Kevin Molino for MVP and Comeback Player of the Year, Adrian Heath for Sigi Schmid Coach of the Year, Emanuel Reynoso for Newcomer of the Year and Dayne St. Clair for Goalkeeper of the Year. Voting by players, team personnel and media begins Thursday.
• The Loons’ Oct. 11 game at FC Dallas postponed by COVID-19 testing remains unscheduled and likely won’t be unless MLS extends the regular season. “Until we hear otherwise, just carry on as we are,” Heath said.