ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota United FC announced the acquisition of 24-year-old midfielder Jacori Hayes via trade with FC Dallas, which will receive a third-round pick in the 2021 MLS SuperDraft. If Hayes meets undisclosed performance-based metrics in 2020, that compensation could rise to a second-round pick and $100,000 in Targeted Allocation Money.
Hayes was selected 18th overall in the 2017 SuperDraft by Dallas, following a four-year collegiate career at Wake Forest that saw the central midfielder tally 15 goals and 15 assists over 84 appearances, Hayes earned NSCAA First Team All-American honors in 2016. In his three subsequent seasons with FC Dallas, Hayes scored once and added three assists while logging 1,967 minutes over 39 MLS appearances.
Hayes earned $79,162.56 in total compensation with Dallas last season, according to the MLS Players Association.
“It’s not very often you get the opportunity to bring somebody in who is young, who has experience in the league,” MNUFC coach Adrian Heath said in a statement. “Always delighted when anybody joins us, and we think the midfield is an area where we’re going to need a little more depth. We’ve got the Euro Cup coming up this year, the Olympics coming up, and it’s an area where we feel we could get stretched. We spoke to a lot of people who have worked with Jacori, now or before, and they have a lot of good things to say about him. We’re really excited to get him in.”
With Hassani Dotson in contention for a call-up to U.S. Olympic team this summer, and the departures of Lawrence Olum, Collin Martin and Rasmus Schüller over the winter, there should be plenty of opportunity for minutes in the center of Minnesota’s midfield for Hayes. Best used as a No. 8, Hayes should provide the Loons with needed cover for both Dotson and Ján Greguš, while the recently-signed James Musa does the same for 34-year-old holding midfielder Osvaldo Alonso.
Quiet for most of the winter, adding only winger Marlon Hairston prior to this month, MNUFC has picked up its transfer activity in the new year. Goalkeeper Tyler Miller (trade), Musa (signing) and Hayes have all been added to the Loons’ roster since last Thursday. The team has also confirmed its interest in bringing Vélez Sarsfield forward Luis Amarilla in on loan, and has publicly stated — via Heath — it hopes to add a designated player to fill its starting No. 10 role in the coming days.