Transfer Tracker

Minnesota United sign Colombian forward Mender Garcia to DP deal


Minnesota United FC have signed attacker Mender Garcia from Colombian first-division side Once Caldas, the club announced Friday after the MLS Secondary Transfer Window closed.

The 24-year-old Colombian joins through the 2023 MLS season (one-and-a-half-year contract) with two club options. He’ll be a Designated Player and occupy an international roster spot.

Garcia joins striker Luis Amarilla and midfielder Emanuel Reynoso as DPs in Minnesota. They previously had striker Adrien Hunou as a DP, but transferred the Frenchman to Ligue 1’s Angers in late June.

“We’re delighted to sign Mender. He’s a great age, 24, and been playing regular first-team football for a couple of seasons,” head coach Adrian Heath said in a release.

“We feel as though he’s coming into his prime and can play all across the attack – the middle, wide right, wide left. Incredibly athletic, really quick. Looks to run forward, looks to stretch the field. We’re really excited about him as a player.”

Garcia has spent his entire career at Once Caldas since debuting as a pro in 2017. He has 22 goals and eight assists in 112 appearances across all competitions.

Minnesota, third in the Western Conference standings, are on track for a fourth-straight Audi MLS Cup Playoffs appearance. He joins a swell of international signings, too, as the Loons build long-term.

“He’s another young one we’ve identified,” Heath added. "I look at Bongi [Bongokuhle Hlongwane], Kervin [Arriaga], Joseph Rosales and now we’ve got Mender. We’ve got a nice core group of young players underneath our experienced guys. We’re really excited about him and looking forward to bringing him in here and helping him progress his career.”