Minnesota United’s pursuit of a free-agent striker includes MLS veteran Fanendo Adi. The 30-year-old Nigerian participated in training in Blaine on Thursday as the Loons look to add depth after waiving Ramon Abila two weeks ago.
Adi has scored more than 60 goals in MLS, including double-figure totals with the Portland Timbers in three different seasons (2015-17), but he had only one goal in stops with FC Cincinnati (2019) and Columbus Crew (2020).
“There should be plenty of football still left in him,” United manager Adrian Heath said, referencing Adi’s age. “We’ll have a look at him and see what we think. It would be a short-term signing, probably until the end of the season, if that’s the way we want to go.”
Adi’s relationship with United staff members Sean Mcauley and Cameron Knowles, who were all together in Portland, played a part in Adi’s test run in Minnesota. “They’ve worked for him for a long, long time and have a good working relationship,” Heath said.
The Loons have until the MLS roster freeze date of Sept. 15 but would like to sign a possible fit as soon as possible.
The Loons will have to use a stopgap central attacking midfielder for Saturday’s 8 p.m. game at Houston. Starter Emanuel Reynoso is out with an injury and his primary backup Robin Lod is sidelined as well.
Heath mentioned Adrian Hunou and Juan Agudelo as players who could come into that type of role.
“We are down to bare bones,” Heath said. “I still think we will be more than competitive at the weekend.”
The Loons also will be without Niko Hansen (leg), Jan Gregus (ankle), Franco Fragapane (thigh), Justin McMaster (undisclosed) and Joseph Rosales (knee).
Jacori Hayes (hamstring) and Dayne St. Clair (COVID protocols) have returned to training.
Problem in Houston
The Loons beat Houston 2-0 at Allianz Field earlier this month, but they are 0-4-2 on the road vs. the Dynamo all time in MLS play. They have been outscored 14-5 in those six games.
“At times we have had opportunities there and have wasted them,” Heath said. “But in other games, we haven’t played well there. Sometimes you get them types of places.”
Houston (3-8-10) is winless in 13 consecutive matches, while Loons (7-6-7) are smarting over only two points (0-1-2) in their last three since their win over the Dynamo on Aug. 7.
Loons defenders Romain Metanire (Madagascar) and Jukka Raitala (Finland) will headed for World Cup qualifiers after Saturday’s game.
The independent review panel denied Sporting Kansas City’s appeal of Remi Walter’s red card for an aggressive challenge on Reynoso in the scoreless draw Saturday. K.C. manager Peter Vermes said Reynoso embellished the contact, but the panel disagreed.
The Loons also had Minnesotan Mukwelle Akale in training Thursday. “He is trying to get out of his contract (with Pafos FC) in Cyprus,” Heath said. “He’s obviously back home and local. He’s been out with us before, and as long as they are in town and want to train with us, no problem.” Akale was with Spanish side Villareal B before going to Cyprus.