Minnesota United announced today two moves on the opening day of the MLS offseason trade window, both involving youngsters who have shown great potential in their development.
AZ to STL
First, the Loons made official that midfielder Aziel Jackson has been traded to 2023 MLS expansion side St. Louis CITY SC. The Loons were sent $150k in 2023 General Allocation Money (GAM) for the 21-year-old. Minnesota will receive another $75k if certain performance standards are met and keep 20% of his transfer value.
Jackson, a talented academy product, spent the entirety of 2022 on loan with the Loons MLS NEXT Pro side, MNUFC2. Jackson was named to the NEXT Pro Best XI at the end of the season after the 21-year-old tallied 10 goals and seven assists across 1,943 minutes for the “Twosies”.
Jackson told SotaSoccer.com in September that his contract status for 2023 with the Loons was up in the air, as the Loons organization had three separate options on his contract.
“I signed five years here with three options, but we don’t know if seeking other first-teams or staying here is what’s best for the club. If I’m in the plans, or if I’m not, it’s not in my control. I’m just controlling what I can do on the field. So I gotta see with my agent what is the best decision, but I’m happy with how things ended with Minnesota 2 and I’m really grateful for how we started the first-ever start to MLS NEXT Pro.”
Jackson spoke with MLSNEXTPro.com about his time in the league, aspirations as a footballer and more in June that can be read here.
About 30 minutes prior to making the Jackson trade official, Minnesota unveiled the acquisition of homegrown forward Cameron Dunbar from the LA Galaxy organization. In return, the Loons sent out a third-round 2023 SuperDraft pick and $75k in GAM if Dunbar can meet certain performance metrics.
After coming up through the Galaxy Academy, Dunbar spent a vast majority of his professional career with LA Galaxy II in USL Championship. From 2020-2022, the now 20-year old made 33 appearances for the reserve team, scoring 12 goals.
At the MLS level, Dunbar made a total of 18 appearances in 2020 and 2021.
In addition to the draft pick and potential GAM, Minnesota will have to pay the Galaxy 20% of Dunbar’s transfer fee if he’s moved elsewhere.