Minnesota United has sent Ecuador international forward Romario Ibarra on loan to Liga MX side Pachuca for the next 13 months, both clubs confirmed on Tuesday.
Ibarra, 24, began the season as the team's preferred striker, starting four of the first six games, but that was due in large part to DP forward Angelo Rodriguez not being fully fit. Once Rodriguez returned to health, Ibarra's playing time decreased, logging just 60 minutes in the Loons' last six matches. During his time in the Twin Cities, Ibarra totaled five goals and one assist in 17 league appearances.
According to data supplied by the MLS Players Association, Ibarra's total compensation was $546,250.04 last season, and sources confirmed that MNUFC was using Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) to reduce his hit on the salary cap, and also so he wouldn't count as a Designated Player. Along with the recent trade of defender Francisco Calvo to the Chicago Fire in exchange for at least $400,000 in allocation money, Minnesota has obtained considerable flexibility as it relates to the salary budget. The moves leave MNUFC well positioned to bolster its roster when the summer transfer window opens on July 10.
Ibarra was acquired just last summer from Ecuadoran side CD Universidad Catolica, where over the course of six seasons he scored 16 goals in 137 league and cup appearances. During that time he also went on loan to LDU Quito where he failed to score in seven appearances.
At international level, Ibarra has made seven appearances, scoring three goals. He was named to Ecuador's 23-player squad for this summer's Copa America.