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Loons leave Wil Trapp, Tyler Miller, Alan Benitez unprotected for expansion draft

Minnesota has yet to announce its end-of-season roster decisions, but Trapp, the club’s captain, and Miller are expected to be under contract in Minnesota for 2023.

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Minnesota United's Wil Trapp reacts toward the fan section after midfielder Jonathan Gonzalez scored in the second half Oct. 9, 2022, against Vancouver at Allianz Field in St. Paul. The Loons won 2-0 to make the MLS playoffs.
Star Tribune / TNS file photo
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ST. PAUL -- Minnesota United have protected 12 players from being selected by St. Louis City in Friday’s MLS expansion draft.

The Loons’ off-limits players, which became public Thursday, are forwards Luis Amarilla and Mender Garcia; attacking midfielders Emanuel Reynoso, Robin Lod, Franco Fragapane and Bongi Hlongwane; central midfielders Hassani Dotson and Kervin Arriaga; defenders Kemar Lawrence, Michael Boxall and D.J. Taylor,; and goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair.

In turn, Minnesota left 17 players available for the new MLS club to possibly take one. United’s key unprotected players were midfielder Wil Trapp, goalkeeper Tyler Miller and defenders Alan Benitez and Bakaye Dibassy.

Minnesota has yet to announce its end-of-season roster decisions, but Trapp, the club’s captain, and Miller are expected to be under contract in Minnesota for 2023. MNUFC said it would share its full roster decisions next week.

Benitez was signed to 2½-year contract in July and arrived on a free transfer from Paraguayan club Cerro Porteno, but ended up behind Taylor on the right-back depth chart to finish last season.

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In July, Dibassy, 33, signed a one-year contract with MNUFC for 2023, with a club option for 2024. Minnesota’s top center back then suffered a ruptured quadricep tendon in his right leg in August, with a recovery time expected to continue into 2023.

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Minnesota also left unprotected: Brent Kallman, Romain Metanire, Abu Danladi, Niko Hansen, Jacori Hayes, Oniel Fisher, Callum Montgomery and Eric Dick.

Metanire, a former MLS All-Star from Mali, was plagued by hamstring injuries over the previous year. He is out of contract and not expected to return to the Loons next season.

United also didn’t protect three recent draft picks: Nabi Kibunguchy, Justin McMaster and Tani Oluwaseyi. Minnesota, by rule, did not have to protect its four homegrown players: Fred Emmings, Patrick Weah, Devin Padelford and newly acquired Cameron Dunbar.

Two players on expiring loans also were left unprotected: Joseph Rosales and Jonathan Gonzalez. Rosales is more likely than Gonzalez to return to Minnesota for next season.

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