Minnesota United FC have reportedly made a move to shore up their defense, as several outlets reported on Friday that the expansion club have acquired holding midfielder Sam Cronin and left back Marc Burch from the Colorado Rapids in exchange for midfielder Mohammed Saeid and winger Josh Gatt.
Cronin and Burch were both major parts of the Rapids team that finished second in the Supporters’ Shield standings and posted the best defensive record in the league last year, with Cronin starting 33 regular-season games and captaining Colorado to the Western Conference Championship series and Burch appearing in 28 matches. Both Cronin, 30, and Burch, 32, have more than 200 career MLS appearances and each started all three of Colorado’s matches this season.
The two veterans will reportedly join a Minnesota team that’s been dreadful defensively in 2017. The Loons have given up 18 goals in just four games this year, 12 more than any other team in the league. Minnesota have conceded at least five goals in three of their four matches, with their best defensive performance coming in a 2-2 draw at Colorado on March 18.
Saeid, 26, was acquired this winter by Minnesota after spending the previous two seasons with Columbus. The central midfielder, who plays more of an attacking role than Cronin, has zero goals and six assists in 53 career MLS matches, with three starts in 2017. Gatt, 25, signed with Minnesota in February after spending five years with Norwegian club Molde. Once a promising US international before three major knee injuries derailed his career, the Michigan native has yet to appear in MLS action.
Minnesota will be in action on Saturday, when they’ll host Real Salt Lake at TCF Bank Stadium (8 pm ET | MLS LIVE). Colorado have the weekend off after their match against Dallas, which was initially scheduled for Saturday, was moved to accommodate FCD’s preparation for Leg 2 of their CONCACAF Champions League semifinal at Pachuca on Tuesday.