BLAINE, Minn. — Minnesota United traded Darwin Quintero to the Houston Dynamo on Wednesday, Nov. 13, and will receive Marlon Hairston and $600,000 in MLS budget funds in exchange, a source confirmed to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
This deal, first reported by The Athletic, was completed before the MLS trade window closed at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
The funds will come in $300,000 in both Targeted Allocation Money and General Allocation Money for 2020 and 2021. It also clears the $2 million salary headed to Quintero for next season, and opens up one of three Designated Player spots for the club to sign a new high-priced player that doesn’t count against the club’s salary budget.
Hairston, 25, is a six-year MLS veteran who played 400 minutes in 12 games for the Dynamo last year. Previously with Colorado, Hairston made $155,000 last year. Minnesota will also give Houston its third-round draft pick this year.
Quintero, the Loons’ leading scorer the past two seasons, was streaky throughout his tenure in Minnesota and a divide became evident between him and head coach Adrian Heath in August.
Quintero became Minnesota’s first high-priced DP in 2018 and had a team-controlled contract option for more than $2 million in 2020. Earlier this week, Quintero said the club had declined his option, a fact the club said was inaccurate.
Quintero, 32, fell out of favor with Heath around midseason, and that fissure came to the forefront when Heath left Quintero out of the starting lineup for the U.S. Open Cup final loss to Atlanta.
Quintero had 11 goals and 15 assists and was an MLS all-star in 2018, but his numbers slipped to 10 goals and five assists in 2019.