Minnesota United cut ties Friday with five players, ranging from MLS originals to the league’s only openly gay player and from draft picks that didn’t pan out to rentals and short-term projects that didn’t get off the ground.
With the Loons declining options on these players, $792,000 will come off the club’s salary budget.
Rasmus Schuller, a Finnish midfielder, played in the Loons’ debut MLS game in March 2017 and a total of 53 total matches into this season. His exit comes as he must fulfill mandatory military service in Finland, starting this month and lasting from six to 12 months.
After playing in 31 of 34 games in 2018, Schuller’s departure is also precipitated by the arrival of Slovakian Designated Player Jan Gregus this season. Schuller played two of the final 20 games this season and had the highest salary coming off the books at $300,000.
Collin Martin made international headlines in a public announcement he is gay in June 2018. He was embraced by United for his statement and became the only openly gay male athlete in the five major U.S. male sports.
The Maryland native played 26 games for the Loons but only three appearances this season as he spent stretches on loan with Hartford Athletic in the USL Championship division.
Carter Manley was the 23rd pick in the 2018 draft but played only nine total games for the Loons. The Maryland native spent most of 2019 with USL affiliate Forward Madison and played in one MLS game.
In July, French fullback Wilfred Moimbe-Tahrat signed a short-term contract with United after other acquisitions fell apart. He had trouble breaking into the first team with the emergence of rookie left back Chase Gasper. His salary of $274,000 was prorated.
Ally Hamis Nganzi, a 19-year-old Tanzanian midfielder, was brought in on loan from a Czech Republic club and was loaned to Madison for most of the season. He came in under the radar just before the season and left just as quietly.