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2022 Player Profiles: Anderson Julio

MLS: Minnesota United FC at Real Salt Lake Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

It was an up and down year for the Ecuadorian Anderson Julio in 2022, after a much anticipated permanent transfer from his previous club Atlético de San Luis in Mexico. Julio had been on loan during the 20/21 season and that loan was made permanent in April of 2022, a few months into the MLS season.

It’s understandable that a player would not be in top form after being in limbo between two clubs for so many months. It’s hard to stay sharp when you are playing competitive matches. I think that is the lens that we have to judge Anderson through in 2022. We have high expectations for our attacking players, he didn’t meet those standards, but there’s optimism that he still can in the future.

Anderson Julio is only 26, and RSL has him under contract through the end of 2024 with club options for 2025 and 2026. RSL will have his services during the prime of his career, which bodes well if he can take a step forward in his performance.

In 2022 Anderson Julio played in 20 matches, but only registered 512 minutes. Of those 20 matches only 3 matches were starts. He was primarily deployed as a second-half substitute, only averaging about 25 minutes a match.

Anderson did make good use of his minutes registering a goal or an assist every 102 minutes, good enough for a 0.87 g/a per 90.

Minnesota United FC v Real Salt Lake Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images

What’s next for Anderson Julio

If Twitter accounts with 2.2k followers are to be believed, Anderson Julio may be on the move back to one of his former clubs, LDU Quito in the Ecuadorian top flight. I am not suggesting the report is true, but simply that it is out there. Like mentioned in the previous section, Julio is under contract through 2024 with club options for 2025 and 2026. If he is on the move, and that’s a big if, you would hope there is a transfer fee involved given he is under contract. Definitely something to keep an eye on but not put too much stake into.

Why Anderson Julio deserves more minutes in 2023

Anderson is physically entering the prime of his career. He has club stability for the first time in years, which has to help with preparation and his psyche. He has shown he can score and create goals for others at a solid clip even with limited minutes. These are all the reasons that I think Anderson Julio needs more minutes in 2023.

He is a bear to deal with given his pace and relentless running at the backline. He creates havoc to defensive organization when RSL is in a position to transition quickly or counter attack.

The question is, can he be fit enough to start more games? Since he joined RSL on loan the first time, he’s never proven that he can reliably run for 90 minutes a game, week in and week out. So if he is going to get more minutes, one of two things needs to happen. Either he needs to come into preseason camp in the best cardiovascular shape of his life, or Pablo Mastroeni needs to get comfortable with subbing players in prior to the 70th minute.

I hope Julio gets the chance to start more, but with DP Jefferson Savarino occupying the same preferred RW position, it will become a question of tactics, shape, or adaptability to other positions if Anderson Julio is going to see the field.