Transfer Tracker

Minnesota United sign SuperDraft pick Ryen Jiba

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Minnesota United FC have signed defender Ryen Jiba to a one-year contract through the 2023 MLS season with options for 2024-26, the club announced Thursday.

The 19th overall selection of the 2023 MLS SuperDraft presented by adidas, the 21-year-old left back spent last year with USL League One side Union Omaha (three assists in 28 games) after a distinguished collegiate career at Salt Lake Community College.

A 2021 NJCAA national champion, Jiba tallied 25 goals and added 20 assists for SLCC between 2019-21, earning 2019 NJCAA Region 18 Player of the Year and USYS Best XI honors in the process. The South Sudan native's next stop was with Park City Red Wolves in the USL League Two, where he scored one goal in one lone appearance.

Minnesota got a first-hand look at their newest signing last season when they lost to Union Omaha, 2-1, in the Round of 16 of the 2022 US Open Cup.

Jiba becomes the club's third defensive reinforcement this offseason, along with Zarek Valentin and Canadian international Doneil Henry. He should offer depth alongside Jamaican international left back Kemar Lawrence.

The Loons limped into the Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs โ€“ eventually falling to FC Dallas in Round One โ€“ after losing starting center back Bakaye Dibassy to a season-ending injury down the stretch. Injuries also limited since-departed fullback Romain Metanire to one appearance in 2022.

Minnesota open their 2023 MLS season on Feb. 25 at Dallas, in a rematch of last year's postseason showdown (8:30 pm ET | MLS Season Pass).