Transfer Tracker

Minnesota United sign Paraguayan international defender Alan Benitez


Minnesota United FC have signed Paraguayan international right back Alan Benitez to a two-and-a-half-year contract through 2024, with a club option, the Loons announced Tuesday. He arrives from Cerro Porteño of the Paraguay First Division.

The move comes after Hassani Dotson suffered a torn ACL early this year and with Romain Metanire limited to one appearance amid his own injury troubles. With those first-choice options out, Minnesota have often played DJ Taylor at right back this season.

“Alan is a very fit and powerful player and his biggest threat is going forward and contributing to the attack and that fits very well with the way that we play,” head coach Adrian Heath said in a release. “That’s something we’ve lacked in consistently over the season and we believe, and this part and parcel of Alan’s game and one of this strengths and I think he will help us in that regard.

“When you look at his body of work with Cerro Porteño – one of the biggest clubs in Paraguay – he’s a Paraguayan international, Luis Amarilla knows him well, we watched him a lot and we felt it was a good opportunity at this time.”

Benitez, 28, has earned five caps for Paraguay since making his senior team debut in 2017 in an international friendly against Mexico. He featured in two World Cup qualifiers earlier this year.

The defender has 11 assists and five goals in 107 appearances since starting his professional career in 2013 with his hometown club of Club Libertad Asunción. He’s played extensively in the Copa Libertadores.

Minnesota are seeking a fourth straight Audi MLS Cup Playoffs appearance. They’re currently on track there, sitting sixth in the Western Conference standings.