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It’s the annual “good problem” discussion Minnesota United faithful have every year in the beginning of the season.
Where does Hassani Dotson fit into this roster?
The question isn’t an insult to the Loons’ midfielder, but actually more of a compliment. Dotson has quickly solidified himself as one of the most versatile players in MLS, having started (and mostly thrived) in both central midfield spots, right back, right wing, and even left wing.
It’s a wonder Adrian Heath hasn’t thrown Dotson in at striker just to see what happens (#BangersOnly).
But, what is most certainly a positive trait has also arguably held the 25-year old back in recent years. As an admittedly preferred central midfielder, racking up triple-digit minutes in secondary positions, such as the wing and the backline, doesn’t exactly help Dotson’s cause for solidifying an every day slot in the starting XI or getting a proper look from, say, the U.S. Men’s National Team.
The question of “fit” holds an even greater weight this season, as Dotson is coming off a nearly year-long hiatus due to a torn ACL. During that time away, MNUFC ran out several different players in the midfield, and all staked their claim as viable options moving forward.
Working his way back to full fitness while entering into arguably the deepest portion of the roster placed an even larger seed of doubt that the Seattle native would be able to find minutes at his preferred position in 2023.
Heath removed some of that doubt during Minnesota’s season-opener in Dallas, bringing on Dotson as the match’s first substitution just past the hour mark.
Now, with Wil Trapp out for an undetermined period of time following a scary rib injury suffered last week, The attention seems to be turning to Dotson to take over the vacant midfield spot.
MNUFC fans have been waiting for a long time for the torch to officially be passed Dotson’s way. It was initially thought to be Ozzie Alonso that would do the passing. But now, as unfortunate and awkward as it would be under these circumstances, we could be seeing the 2019 SuperDraft pick finally get a real chance to cement his position as an every day starter for the Loons.
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The Loons Daily newsletter is written by Jeremy Rushing and presented by Sota Soccer, your home for soccer coverage in the North! If you could, please consider supporting our work at Patreon.com/sotasoccer