Loons sign mainstay center back Michael Boxall to two-year extension

Sep. 9—Minnesota United re-signed center back Michael Boxall to a two-year extension for the 2022-23 seasons, the club announced Thursday.

Boxall, who joined the Loons during their expansion season in 2017, had signed a two-year extension during the 2019 campaign. Over that span, he has become the club leader in MLS appearances (105) and has worn the captain’s armband 26 times.

“If you could build a football club around people, Boxy would be one of the pillars you build it around,” manager Adrian Heath said Thursday. “Very rarely injured … great teammate, great professional, brings something every day to the club. I don’t get involved in the signing, in terms of the finances, but whatever he’s got, he deserves everything.”

The 33-year-old Kiwi has a guaranteed compensation of $422,000 this season, per the MLS players association. He has played in just 13 of the Loons’ 21 games this season due to injury, but overall he has been a mainstay on the back line while his center back partner has been in flux.

“Very happy to commit the next couple of years here — I’ve really enjoyed my time here,” Boxall said in a statement. “I’m delighted that (my daughter) Maxwell has given me permission to stay here for a couple more years. Already the family makes so many sacrifices with my schedule and moving countries once or twice before, so now that the little ones are in school, with a good circle of friends, I want to affect them as little as possible. Happy to be setting deeper roots here for a couple more years.”


Loons winger Franco Fragapane (thigh) has trained for more than a week and is set to return from an eight-game absence against Seattle Sounders on Saturday, Heath said. … Fellow attackers Emanuel Reynoso (hamstring) and Robin Lod (calf) are expected to return at some point during the three-game stretch, including Wednesday’s game at Sporting Kansas City and next Saturday’s home game versus the L.A. Galaxy. … Right back Romain Metanire, who played 90 minutes in Madagascar’s 3-2 loss to Tanzania in a World Cup qualifier Tuesday, is expected to arrive in Minnesota on Thursday. Heath said the team will assess him Friday. If he can’t play, D.J. Taylor is the most likely replacement.


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