Kallman will be United's first Minnesotan in MLS
ST. PAUL -- Brent Kallman was ignored by Major League Soccer when he left Creighton University in 2013. He wasn't drafted by any clubs in the top domestic league, nor invited to its combine for scouts to even take a look.
ST. PAUL - Brent Kallman was ignored by Major League Soccer when he left Creighton University in 2013. He wasn't drafted by any clubs in the top domestic league, nor invited to its combine for scouts to even take a look.
"But I knew I had the tools to play," Kallman said last spring.
Now, four years later, the Woodbury native is expected to soon finalize an MLS contract with Minnesota United, a source told the Pioneer Press. He would be the first Minnesotan on the roster as the state's expansion franchise makes its MLS debut this spring.
As the Loons continue to make roster upgrades to compete in the top domestic league, the club has expressed faith that Kallman can continue to climb from his breakout season with Minnesota in the second-tier North American Soccer League in 2016.
After the initial cold shoulder he received from MLS, Kallman took a paltry salary with United in 2013. His older brother, Brian, was a vice captain with the Loons and the Minnesota Stars before that.
But Kallman had to keep grinding, and he was limited to 12 games across three seasons. While he wanted to break through on his home turf, doubts crept in.
"You start asking the question, 'Why am I doing this?'" Kallman said last spring for a story about his ultra-athletic family. "It makes you dig deep down, and you come to the conclusion that you do it because you love it."
With a more lucrative contract last season and a big opportunity to play under former coach Carl Craig, the physical 6-foot-2, 190-pound central back was a staple on the Loons' defense. He racked up 2,574 minutes across 30 matches.
With Kallman, the Loons would have 17 players. They are looking to add from six to 11 more before the season opener March 3 at Portland. The home opener at TCF Bank Stadium is March 12 against fellow expansion club Atlanta United.
Kallman's local ties stand out among United's diversified roster. The Loons' 10 other U.S. players hail from across the country: four from California and one each from Michigan, Ohio, New Jersey, Indiana, Maryland and Colorado. There also are six international players: two from Costa Rica, plus one each from Latvia, Sweden, Ghana and France.
Kallman will join four other former United players from its NASL days: forward Christian Ramirez, midfielder Miguel Ibarra, and fullbacks Kevin Venegas and Justin Davis. Other candidates to make the jump to MLS are Brazilian Ibson, Ish Jome of Brooklyn Park, and Venezuelan Bernardo Anor.