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Portland Timbers Loan Chris Klute to Minnesota United FC

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MLS: Portland Timbers at FC Dallas Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Timbers have loaned full back Chris Klute to NASL side Minnesota United FC through the end of the season, the team announced this afternoon.

With both MUFC and Atlanta United set to join Major League Soccer for the 2017 season, the league will likely hold an expansion draft for the two sides to build up their rosters and it makes sense for Minnesota to take a look at a potentially available talent in Klute.

After coming into the season with an unexpected injury and struggling to stay on the field for Portland, Klute has found himself behind late acquisition Vytas and utility players Jermaine Taylor and Zarek Valentin in the left back depth chart. Klute, who has shown flashes of the talent that made him the talk of the league with the Colorado Rapids, has shown flashes of talent with T2 and seems to be healthy, but he remains on the outside looking in for the Timbers and might best be served by leaving the Rose City if he wants to find MLS-level playing time.

If Minnesota do like what they see in Klute, it seems like a real possibility that the Timbers could either deal him to the expansion side for allocation money or simply leave him exposed as a sort of sacrificial lamb during the expansion draft, both tactics that the Timbers have used in their six years in MLS.

Whether the Timbers will make use of the roster spot opened up by Klute’s loan remains to be seen, but with the transfer window closed, the team's options would be limited.

TIMBERS LOAN DEFENDER CHRIS KLUTE TO MINNESOTA UNITED FC

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers have loaned defender Chris Klute to Minnesota United FC of the North American Soccer League (NASL) through the end of the season, it was announced today.

Acquired by the Timbers in a trade with Columbus Crew SC on Dec. 12, 2015, Klute, 26, has appeared in eight MLS matches (8 starts) for Portland this season, also making five appearances for the Timbers’ USL side, T2, in 2016.

Transaction: Portland Timbers loan defender Chris Klute to Minnesota United FC through the end of the season.