Minnesota United FC has signed Colombian forward Ángelo Rodríguez as its second-ever Designated Player, the club announced Tuesday. MNUFC issued a release stating it reached an agreement with Colombian first-division side Club Deportes Tolima for Rodríguez’s services, pending receipt of a P1 Visa and and International Transfer Certificate.
Rodríguez is a 5-foot-11, right-footed striker who tallied six goals in 1,226 minutes across 18 appearances for Deportes Tolima in 2018. Over the last eight years, Rodríguez has made appearances for seven clubs in Colombia’s Categoría Primera A and has scored 51 goals in 195 games.
Minnesota United coach Adrian Heath described Rodríguez as a “big-time player.”
“We have just added a difference-maker to our roster,” Heath said. “He’s a player who is physical, skilled and knows how to score. He holds up the ball well and is also able to turn and run at defenders. He causes stress on defenses by closing down and pressing. He has seen some of the best competition in Colombia and has stepped up in big moments.”
Loons fans have taken to the club’s first designated signing, Darwin Quintero, who earned MLS Player of the Week honors following his hat trick against Toronto FC on July 4. MNUFC Sporting Director Manny Lagos was bullish on Quintero’s fellow countryman, Rodríguez.
“[Rodríguez] is a player who has just won a championship in Colombia and he wants to be here in Minnesota — he has made that clear to everyone on our staff,” Lagos said. “He wants to come here and make an impact with our club. We have always said we want to bring in the right type of players at the right time and he fits the mold.”
Rodríguez is already Minnesota’s second addition of the summer transfer window, which opened Tuesday. The team signed Ecuadorian winger Romario Ibarra yesterday.
“We have just made two big-impact signings in this window and are continuing to build and develop this roster for this season and beyond,” said Lagos.
It remains to be seen what Rodríguez’s arrival will mean for the other forwards on Minnesota’s roster. Quintero appears undroppable, whether deployed as a second striker or a true No. 10, but the Loons haven’t gotten the production they’ve hoped for from their out-and-out strikers. Christian Ramirez, Abu Danladi and first-round SuperDraft pick Mason Toye have combined for just four goals this season — all scored by Ramirez.
With Quintero, Romario Ibarra and Rodríguez signed since the start of the season, the Loons have made clear their intent to bolster an attack that has produced 23 goals in 18 games. Having conceded 36 times this season, defensive reinforcements might also be needed if the Loons hope to reach their stated goal of making the playoffs.