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Darwin Quintero, Francisco Calvo are confident All-Stars

August 5, 2018

After Minnesota United had no players in the Major League Soccer All-Star Game in its inaugural season, the Loons sent two representatives to Wednesdays game against Italian club Juventus in Atlanta.

All-Star coach Gerardo Tata Martino selected United team captain and center back Francisco Calvo initially before adding designated player Darwin Quintero when two players dropped out of the match. Calvo started and played 32 minutes in the 1-1 draw that turned into a 5-3 penalty kick loss for MLS. Quintero played the last 28 minutes.

But being considered among the best in the league wont go to the players heads.

They dont need a lot of confidence boosters, these two, United coach Adrian Heath said. I think thats one of their strengths is theyre supremely confident people. Darwin probably thinks hes the best player in MLS, and he might be right. But thats why he feels that, because hes one of them guys.

Quintero told reporters at the Tuesday training session ahead of the All-Star Game that he was enjoying himself again playing with United because the team makes him feel like a star.

Youre always looking for that, no? Quintero said, according to the league website. That you enjoy it, that you feel that youre that important guy. You sometimes lose that over time with a team.

Calvo said it was nice to be among fellow players who were on the same high level as Quintero and him. And it was another honor in a stellar year for him; the 26-year-old is not only starring on his club team and participating in the All-Star Game, but he also played in the World Cup this year for Costa Rica.

At the beginning of the season, it was not the best beginning of the season for me, but now I feel with a lot of confidence, Calvo said. I think its one of the best years, but thats one of the main reasons that Im here because Im being, all my career, consistent. I never be one year down, one year up. Ive been consistent.

Since I came here, Adrian gave me the whole confidence, and that means a lot for me. And I just want to repay him, giving my best performance every day I step on the field.

Quinteros July

With his six goals and six assists in five games during the month of July, including a hat trick and three two-assist games, Quintero tied for the second-most goals and assists in a calendar month in MLS history.

Heath said that production didnt surprise him, saying Quintero has always been incredibly clever about finding space to receive the ball and then turning and heading toward the goal, usually leaving opponents in his wake.

Injury setback

On-loan midfielder Maximiano, who has six games with one start this season, will be out a couple of weeks with a slight right knee strain, the same knee in which he tore the ACL a year ago. But Heath said the injury isnt a redo of that major one. Hes got a little bit of swelling, and the club seems to think a little bit of rest might help it all settle down, Heath said. So were hoping in a couple of weeks, itll be fine.

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