Minnesota United FC re-signs two big-name defenders


Two all-star defenders will be staying with Minnesota United for awhile longer.

The club announced Thursday Justin Davis and Kevin Venegas both agreed to a long-term contract.

Davis and Venegas have been with United since 2011 and 2012, respectively. According to the United website, Davis was the highest scoring defender in the NASL this season with 5 goals and 2 assists, leads the club in all-time minutes played, and made the NASL Best XI, (the league's equivalent of an all-star team) in 2014 and 2015.

Venegas has been his defensive partner since 2012, and also made the 2015 Best XI.

"They were arguably the best two outside defenders in the league [this season],” said Minnesota United Head Coach Carl Craig in a statement, “Not just tight and wide defenders, but they bring so much to our offense. In terms of stability for us as a club, they're very important, but also in terms of the quality they bring to the field and the team, both in attitude and performance it's absolutely massive."

According to the Pioneer Press, Minnesota United's move to lock down talented players like Davis and Venegas – and sign new prospects like midfielder Lance Laing of FC Edmonton and forward Stefano Pinho of the Fort Lauderdale Strikers – signals that the franchise it looking to its move to Major League Soccer in 2017 or 2018.

The United will play their home opener on April 16 against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers at the National Sports Center in Blaine.

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