Per The Athletic’s Jeff Rueter, Minnesota United are set to sign Ecuadorian winger Romario Ibarra once the summer transfer window opens. The attacker has the potential to be a season-changer.
As was first reported by The Athletic’s Jeff Rueter (it is behind a pay wall), with the help of Metro NY’s Kristian Dyer, Minnesota United will sign Ecuadorian international Romario Ibarra when the MLS summer transfer window opens on July 10th.
The 23-year-old winger scored twice in just two appearances for Ecuador during 2018 World Cup Qualifiers, one each against Argentina and Chile respectively.
Having played for Universidad Catolica in his native Ecuador since 2011, with the exception of one loan spell to LDU Quito, Ibarra has scored 14 goals in 126 appearances for the club. So, what does Ibarra offer the team?
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First and foremost, he would bring immense pace and physical strength to the side, having shown the ability to stay on his feet and fight through challenges, which is something you don’t often see from players with his type of speed.
Though he hasn’t exactly been pouring in the goals at the club level, Ibarra’s speed should really help open up space for the Loons attack as he and Darwin Quintero can give MLS defenses plenty of trouble with their pace. Combine that with the current form of Miguel Ibarra and Minnesota United may have a legitimate chance at sneaking into a playoff spot, should their defense start to show some more consistency.
This move may also mean that Peruvian international Alexi Gomez’s time in Minnesota is nearing an end. Gomez has shown some potential during his time with the Loons, but has lacked the consistency that Minnesota United had hoped.
Gomez’s loan expires at the end of the season but, with the news of Brazilian side Flamengo being interested in acquiring Gomez from Universitao, his loan to Minnesota may be terminated sooner than was originally anticipated.
It will be interesting to see if Romario Ibarra does indeed end up in Minnesota. If he does sign with the Loons, will he be able to show the potential he showed in Ecuador’s October qualifiers more consistently and can he help the side challenge for a playoff spot?
If he can, this could be a game-changing addition for Minnesota United.