Minnesota United FC announced Monday that fullback Tyrone Mears’ contract has been terminated by mutual consent.
Though the club did not provide much additional detail, Loons head coach Adrian Heath did provide insight on Mears’ next move.
“We thank Tyrone for his service to the club and the community,” Heath said in a statement released by the club. “We felt this was the right move for Tye at this time, to go back home and be closer to his family and play his football in the Championship in England. We wish him well.”
Mears appears to be set to join one of the 24 clubs in the EFL Championship ahead of its Aug. 31 free-transfer deadline.
Mears joined Minnesota in December, when MNUFC used the fourth-overall selection in the 2017 MLS Re-Entry Draft to acquire Mears’ rights following the 20 appearances the Englishman made for Atlanta United last season. Mears started in 10 of his 11 appearances for Minnesota, scoring a goal. The 35-year-old had logged just 93 minutes since July 7, with the majority coming on Aug. 8, when he started in place of a suspended Francisco Calvo at FC Dallas as part of a three-man back line for the Loons.
Mears’ stay in the Twin Cities coincided with the journeyman playing for his 10th professional club, having previously turned out for a number of English sides and completing a brief loan with Ligue 1’s Olympique de Marseille. A three-year stint in MLS, which included included a stop in Seattle ahead of playing for expansion sides Atlanta and Minnesota, followed his time in Europe.
In a truly nomadic career, Mears once made an appearance for the Jamaican National Team despite not being eligible to do so. Born and raised in the north of England, Mears was under the mistaken impression he had sufficient Jamaican ancestry to play for the Reggae Boyz in a 2009 friendly against Nigeria. It was later discovered that Mears’ father was actually from Sierra Leone, and Jamaica had fielded Mears without performing the necessary background checks.
The recent return to fitness of Swiss fullback Jérôme Thiesson — along with Miguel Ibarra’s successful redeployment as a wingback in Minnesota’s 3-5-2 — should provide enough depth for the Loons to handle Mears’ departure, provided the leg injury that forced fellow fullback Eric Miller from last Saturday’s game in Kansas City doesn’t prove too serious.