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Minnesota United takes Jeff Attinella in MLS Expansion Draft

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RSL’s second-choice goalkeeper was selected in the fourth round.

MLS: Chicago Fire at Real Salt Lake Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Jeff Attinella was selected by Minnesota United in the fourth round of the 2016 MLS Expansion Draft, ending a four-year spell at the club.

Attinella, 28, was drafted by Real Salt Lake in 2011, joining Tampa Bay Rowdies that same year. He was later brought in by RSL in 2013, who owned his rights after drafting him. He initially started as a third goalkeeper behind Josh Saunders, but a significant injury saw him as full-time backup to Nick Rimando.

Attinella leaves RSL having played 29 matches, with only the match where he replaced Saunders as his sole substitution appearance.

Suffering an elbow injury in 2016, Attinella appeared in only four matches. In both 2014 and 2015, he started 10 matches, with Nick Rimando earning significant international minutes.

This leaves RSL with just two goalkeepers on the books: Nick Rimando and Lalo Fernandez. Fernandez, 23, has been RSL’s third or fourth-choice goalkeeper since signing with the club in 2012 from the academy.

Of the players still under contract with the club, Real Salt Lake left only Attinella unprotected. Many players not under contract with the club — either for declined options or expiring contracts — were left unprotected as well.

Of those without a 2017 contract in-hand, only center back Aaron Maund was left protected; there seems to be a growing expectation that he will, in fact, re-sign with the club.

RSL’s full unprotected list:

Goalkeepers: Jeff Attinella

Defenders: Phanuel Kavita, Boyd Okwuonu, Jamison Olave, Chris Wingert

Midfielders: Javier Morales, John Stertzer

Forwards: Pedro Baez, Olmes Garcia, Devon Sandoval, Emery Welshman