Minnesota United announced today that it has signed defender Vadim Demidov to its Major League Soccer roster using Targeted Allocation Money. The Norwegian international has had a successful career playing in Europe’s top leagues, as well as on the international stage. Demidov will be added to Minnesota's roster pending receipt of his ITC and P-1 Visa.
“It was a really easy choice for me to come to Minnesota,” Demidov said. “I was immediately interested in this club after speaking with the staff here, we are developing into something new and exciting and I enjoy that idea. I wanted to take on a new challenge and prove myself in a new league and I am very happy to be able to do that here in Minnesota.”
The 30-year-old is a strong option at central defense, and is not afraid to throw his weight around to disrupt opponents. He also is an aerial threat off set pieces, using his height to soar above defenders.
“We’re getting a very talented player and a leader on the pitch,” MNUFC Head Coach Adrian Heath said. “Vadim will provide us that winning mentality and work ethic that’s so important for a club in growth, he fits the mold of the players we desire for in this club. We are thrilled to get a defensive leader of his caliber.”
The son of international handball player Sergei Demidov, Vadim was born in Latvia before his family moved to Sandefjord, Norway when his father received a coaching position there. Vadim would later sign his first professional contract with Sandefjord Fotball in 2004. An injury in his first season sidelined him for over a year, but after brief rehab stint on loan, he returned to Sandefjord for its first season in the Norwegian top flight.
He spent a few seasons playing in the lower divisions before joining Rosenborg in 2008 where he became an integral part of the lineup. His solid defensive work helped to club to back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010, losing just once in 60 matches.
The defender began to make his rounds through Europe’s top leagues as his talent was getting recognized throughout the continent. Demidov signed with Spanish club, Real Sociedad, making his debut midway through the 2010-11 season and helped the club avoid being relegated from La Liga. He then moved to Eintracht Frankfurt two years later where he made five Bundesliga appearances. Demidov returned to La Liga the following year with Celta de Vigo before a brief run Russia with Anzhi Makhachkala.
Demidov came back to Norway in 2014 when he signed with SK Brann. Despite being relegated in his first year, Demidov and the club fought their way back into the top flight with a second place finish to earn automatic promotion. They shocked the Tippeligaen in their return season, finishing second behind Demidov’s former club Rosenborg, and earned a spot in Europa League qualifying.
Since he started his professional career, Demidov was on the Norwegian national team’s radar. He made several appearances at the U18 and U20 levels before getting his first call up to the men’s national team in 2008. He has seen the field 16 times for Norway, including some time in European Championship qualifying.
Demidov’s veteran presence will be a key addition to Minnesota’s roster, and will make him a leader on the pitch when the Loons take the field for the first time in MLS.
“I never quit, I give a hundred percent and I have a winning mentality, I hate losing,” said Demidov. “I’ll do everything to win for the team. I like to take charge and take responsibility and be a part of a team that grows together. “
Minnesota kicks off its MLS campaign on March 3 in Portland, and plays its first home match March 12 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Be there for every minute of this historic inaugural season by visiting MNUFC.COM to get your season tickets today.
Transaction: Minnesota United signed defender Vadim Demidov. Demidov will be added to Minnesota's roster pending receipt of his ITC and P-1 Visa.
Born: 10/10/1986 (30 years old)
Weight: 185 lbs.
Last Club: Brann
Hometown: Riga, Soviet Union
Birthplace: Riga, Soviet Union