Calvo on MNUFC exit: Heath "put me in the trash as if I were a rookie"

Francisco Calvo - Chicago Fire - May 4, 2019

From serving as the club’s first captain in their MLS era to being shipped off to a regional rival for a bundle of allocation money barely two years later, Francisco Calvo’s Minnesota United career went pear-shaped rather quickly.

Safe to say that he’s not thrilled with how it all went down.

Calvo made his Chicago Fire debut off the bench in Saturday’s 0-0 draw at LAFC, and the Costa Rican international revealed the bitterness of his Loons exit in a postgame interview with journalist John Rojas of AS.

“I was surprised,” Calvo said of his May 3 trade to Chicago. “But soccer is the way it is. Those are the rules of this league and the truth is I’m happy. Now that they’ve made this decision, I’m at a great club. I’m with a historic team that has won a title. I come to a club that has received me well.”

Sharing his frustration at being shifted from center back to left back in Minnesota, Calvo also gave his side of the story behind the rift that opened up between him and Loons head coach Adrian Heath after Calvo’s red card in the 4-3 loss at Toronto FC on Apr. 19.

“Wherever coach Adrian Heath needed me, I always tried to give my best. He took me out of my usual position, which is in the middle,” he said. “I tried to give him what I had at left back and after that he took me out of the team. But I’ll let him worry about this.

“He didn’t like [the red card in Toronto],” Calvo continued. “He was a player and he knows that sometimes as players you lose your head. I lost my head against Toronto and I accepted my responsibility. I was the captain of the team. But I didn’t get his support either. I was the captain since I arrived [in Minnesota] and he never supported me. He put me in the trash as if I were a rookie, to put it that way. But I repeat: I’m happy. One door closed, but this one has opened. And if it opened up, it’s for something positive.”

Calvo also said that Chicago coach Veljko Paunovic told him he’ll be used primarily as a center back with the Men in Red, and shared a few more notable quotes as well. Read Rojas’ full story (in Spanish).

All this will surely amp up the intrigue as the Fire welcome Minnesota to SeatGeek Stadium on Saturday (8 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US, MLS LIVE on DAZN in Canada) for their first meeting of the season. 

The Extratime crew broke down the Calvo trade to the Chicago Fire here: