Minnesota United Agrees on Transfer of US International Miguel Ibarra to Club León

IMAGE, MINNESOTA UNITED FC

by JAKE NUTTING
NASL Beat Writer

Minnesota United FC announced today that the club has agreed in principle to a transfer of midfielder Miguel Ibarra to Club León in Liga MX.

Ibarra will play his final competitive game for the Loons on Saturday as the club closes out the spring season at home against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers.

“First of all I want to thank the organization for everything they’ve done for me, they have opened the doors for me to start my career in the beautiful state of Minnesota,” said Ibarra. “They have worked so hard and that’s why the team is where they are now, bigger and stronger than ever. I want to thank Bill and Nick for believing in me and for having faith in the team. I want to thank Manny and Carl for always pushing me. They helped me grow as a player and without their guidance none of this would have been possible.

The spotlight intensified on Ibarra last year when he played an instrumental part in the Loons run to the top of the NASL table, earning his second straight appearance on the NASL Best XI, the NASL Golden Ball, and worthy recognition from U.S. men’s national team coach Juergen Klinsmann. The speedy winger was the first modern era NASL player and the first second division player since 2005 to receive a national team call up.

Ibarra has found a solid ground in the U.S. camp, receiving consistent call ups, starting once against Panama, and coming off the bench twice.

“I am 100% excited for Miguel and the opportunities that he has had over the last several years with our club and the U.S. National Team,” said Minnesota Head Coach Manny Lagos. “He is going to be playing in a great league in Mexico.  Miguel has been a huge part of the core of this team’s successes for many years and we feel that we have grown as a club at the same time he has grown as a player.

There was rumored interest from MLS clubs regarding Ibarra, but they all reportedly balked at the hefty six-figure fee that Minnesota was asking for the valuable asset. While specifics terms of the deal were not released, reports say that León came within the neighborhood of Minnesota’s $1 million dollar asking price.

Ibarra has been a mainstay with the Loons since 2012 and amassed 16 goals and 11 assists in 93 appearances. After a slow start for the Loons this season, the club gained momentum and sit in a tie for third place with the Carolina RailHawks.

Ibarra was a big part of the Loons’ Spring turnaround, recording two goals and two assists. His absence will surely be felt heading into the fall season as the team looks to secure a playoff spot, but the significant transfer fee from León should go a long way toward filling any possible void from Ibarra’s departure.

“It’s important for people to realize we are not a club that’s built with the expectation of developing and selling players – we want to build a great environment and cultivate great players here,” said Lagos. “At the same time we have to allow players opportunities to grow that are in the best interest of the player and the club. We want to be a great club and we want our fans to know that this deal opens up opportunities for the club to get more players. I believe our fans know that these relationships we are establishing will pay huge dividends in the future.”

Outside of Saturday, Minnesota supporters will have one more opportunity to see Ibarra take the field in a Minnesota shirt. Minnesota United also announced that they will host a friendly with León on July 18 and that Ibarra will play a half for each club.

While the majority of the credit for Ibarra’s success lie with the player and Minnesota United, the story is undoubtedly a boon to the NASL. Commissioner Bill Peterson has made mention for highlighting how players in the NASL are in better control of their careers in comparison to MLS’ system. The meteoric rise of Miguel Ibarra would seem proof positive that reaching the highest levels of professional soccer from the NASL is at least possible while the club alone will reap any possible financial reward.

  • Larry’s slow left arm is a simpleton

    I don’t like this! Only players with the official Don Garber Seal of Approval are allowed to transfer from a US League to a foreign league for seven figures. This is blasephemy and affront to everything my Dark Lord, the Almight Don, has worked for! I am sickened by it! Why is Leon buting great players like Brovsky or Grabavoy? Disgusting. How dare anyone do anything that doesn’t involve the Don or a re-entry waiver allocation super draft?????????

  • OpenCupFan

    Saved from MLS purgatory.

    • Larry’s Left Arm Is a Simpleton and has Dark Desires

      NO! MLS IS HEAVEN ON EARTH! IT IS DIVINE! IT IS WHAT ALL LEAGUES SHOULD ASPIRE TO! VILLA! LAMPARD! GRABAVOY! BROVSKY! SALARY CAPS!RE-ENTRY DRAFTS!

      HOW DARE YOU BLASPHEME THE ALMIGHTY DON??????????????????????????

  • trollleftarm

    I don’t understand. What does the MLS get out of this? It doesn’t make sense. MLS is the top tier. Also, I have to say ‘Hempstead’ or this is not an official troll post.

  • MyleftArmgotStuckupLarrysass

    Good for him,MLS blows.

    • Larry’s slow left arm is a simpleton

      NO! MLS IS A GIFT FROM GOD! 12 TEAMS MAKE THE PLAYOFFS! MAN CITY OWNS A TEAM! NICK CHAVEZ EVEN MADE A CALL TO ARMS!

      • MyleftArmgotStuckupLarrysass

        Where those ARMS fisting him at the time.

  • Larry’s A Simpleton

    I’m glad to see you fanboys are finally getting on board the MLS train and realizing how superior MLS is to the nasl.

    So the f.cosmos are going up against new york citys only team saturday. I say there will be over 25000 at yankee stadium. how many at shuart? 3000? less? LMFBAO!!! what excuse are you gals gonna come up with this week for that farce out there in nassau county?

    have they taken away obrien and stovers shoe laces yet? lol. looks like **** messing is another bitter scumbag over the failure of the nassau county globetrotters. see you girls next week!

    • Larry’s slow left arm is a simpleton

      Yay! NYCFC! We’ve got the hipsters and. Chance “Milwaukee” Myers and Nick Chavez!

      AND we have Brovsky and Grabavoy!

      We’re so great!

      I love Don Garber! He makes my throat dry!

      Yay!

    • OpenCupFan

      “**** messing”?
      .
      Hahaha, no you’re trolling Cosmos’ podcasts?
      .
      What’s the going rate for MLS botting?

      • Billy

        Ha, I was thinking the same thing. Is this guy actually listening to Cosmos podcasts now too?

        • Dr. Freud

          That’s how deep the level of obsession is. It is very disturbing.

    • Jin Old-Boy

      YEAH! **** the 97%. Only the three percent matters. We are fans of MLS. Why should MLS run like other leagues that unite with the 97%? That’s stupid. MLS do not believe in that because we are America. We may have made the same mistakes as past leagues by putting a middle finger up at the 97% of American players by only growing a soccer country that only caters to the 3% and handicapping the rest. We don’t care. I have my local team and soccer is not my career to care. The NASL have the nerve to challenge us and nake talks about promotion and relegation. The very idea of every last team and players being involve sickens me. I’m a true soccer fan.

      That is something I would say if I was a fack soccer fan.

  • Anonymous

    When it comes to the on the field product. Ill take my Cosmos

  • NY is Red

    So, after the NASL loses one of its best players, the fanboys respond by bashing MLS. LMAO!!! Clowns.

    • Larry’s slow left arm is a simpleton

      You tell them! MLS is tops! We have players like Brovsky and Sal Zizzo! Thesr NASL fan boys nothing of quality play! Have they never set eyes on the majesty of Jason Hernandez? The glory of Mike Grella? MlS all the way, baby!

    • Jin Old-Boy

      Yay! Team 3%.