See more of the story

Minnesota United defensive midfielder and captain Wil Trapp returned to the starting 11 Saturday alongside Kervin Arriaga after he served a game's suspension last week.

Young Joseph Rosales went back to a reserve's role against FC Cincinnati on a night when Loons coach Adrian Heath changed his attacking front four, too.

Little-used striker Adrien Hunou started up top in his first MLS start this season while attackers Bongokuhle Hlongwane, Emanuel Reynoso and Abu Danladi played underneath him.

They did so because starters Luis Amarilla and Robin Lod were both out ill. Lod missed Friday's training ill as well while Amarilla's illness came at the same time as the birth of his first child, a boy.

Trapp returned to the 11 after his suspension last week at Los Angeles FC for yellow-card accumulations. Rosales returned to a sub's role Saturday along with Franco Fragapane.

"No slight on Joseph, I thought he did excellent," Heath said. "I just think Wil's experience and calmness on the ball will give us a much-needed bit of presence in there. More importantly, I think if we can get the people in the right spots between the lines, Wil's very good at finding them people."

Fellow Hondurans Arriaga and Rosales started their first MLS game together in the holding midfield in last week's 2-0 loss at Los Angeles FC. The Loons allowed two goals in eight minutes after 82 scoreless minutes.


Heath has praised both Arriaga and Rosales for playing with an "anger" inside them.

Trapp said he knows what Heath means after he first watched Rosales play in Olympic qualifying games a year ago.

"It was like they eat with two hands and we eat with a fork and a knife," Trapp said. "There's just an intensity, a competitiveness that comes through that makes them effective. It's really fun to see. It's good to see them play together, too."

Testing their depth

Saturday's game was the Loons' fourth in the next 11 days and fifth in the next 15, including Wednesday's U.S. Open Cup home game against Colorado.

That's one reason Heath had the MNUFC2 reserve team train with the first team last week.

Asked about the depth needed for such a stretch, veteran defender Kemar Lawrence said, "I guess we'll find out now. This will be the first couple weeks where we'll require a real set rotation. We played an Open Cup game the other day and we rotated pretty well. We had confidence in that 11 and a lot of guys got to rest. So in the next couple weeks, let's see."

Goodbye Gasper

The Loons on Saturday played their first game without defender Chase Gasper, who was sold to the LA Galaxy on Wednesday.

"Off the field, what a guy, truly just a beacon of everything you want in a teammate," Trapp said. "We'll miss him off the field, but on the field of course what he brought in terms of his engine, getting up and down the field. Goals, assists. He'll be missed, but we're also happy for him, going to a new place where a fresh start will do him well."

Metanire still out

Starting right back Romain Metanire remained out because of a hamstring he tore last fall. Heath on Thursday called Metanire "getting closer" and was hopeful he'd return in a "couple weeks."

Metanire has played just 22 minutes this season. Veteran Oniel Fisher again started there on Saturday.