For a full season and another two months, Minnesota United fans waited eagerly for the first-ever Designated Player signing in club history – a player signed outside of the regular MLS salary cap restrictions, usually allowing a higher caliber player to join the team. On April 2 at 2:00 p.m. that wait ended with the formal signing of Colombian star Darwin Quintero.
Quintero joined Minnesota United from Club América after a decade of dominance in the Mexican league, where he scored more than 85 goals and earned three league trophies. Despite past acclaim, Quintero met criticism upon transfer – fans wondered if at age 30, the forward could still be a game-changer in the top level of American soccer.
He met that criticism head-on, leading the team in goals (11) and assists (13) in just 24 matches played. His terrific form culminated in a dominant July where Quintero scored six goals and tallied six assists in six matches – one of the greatest statistical months in MLS history, while leading the Loons to four wins and a return to playoff contention.
After a sensational start to his tenure in MLS, Quintero has become a dark horse favorite for a future league MVP. With the addition of a promising supporting class this offseason and the introduction of Allianz Field, things look bright for Minnesota United in 2019, led by Darwin Quintero.
The Loons are celebrating their first two seasons in MLS soccer on October 21, with 50,000+ close friends at TCF Bank Stadium. The last home match at the University venue, Minnesota United will break a 42-year-old record for attendance as the club looks ahead to the opening of Allianz Field.