MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Life in the MLS means dealing with players absent for various reasons during the season.

Minnesota United accepts that, but it sure is nice to have a full roster again. The Loons just got back two promising players — Mason Toye and Hassani Dotson — from the United States’ under-23 team.

“Well they certainly trained a lot, I know that much from their data that we got back, and obviously … it was a great opportunity for them to put themselves in the shop window, as to speak,” said Manager Adrian Heath.

International duty creates the kind of inconvenience clubs actually like.

“As I said to them before they left, the pair of them have nothing to fear. You know, they can comfortably play at that level. I just wanted them to go there and make sure they gave a good account of themselves, and apparently that’s what they did,” Heath said.

Mason Toye (credit: CBS)

Especially since Toye scored to help the Americans shut out Japan.

“That’s something that I was working towards already. One of my goals was to get called up to that team,” Toye said

Minnesota United having players called up by the U.S. U23 team means the club is moving in the right direction. It also means they’re continuing to develop. That’ll benefit both the U.S. and the Loons.

“As I’ve always said, I know how much it meant to me to play for my country, so I would never stop players from going,” Heath said.

It makes them more confident in their skills.

“Honestly, some stuff that I learned here carried over really well with the national team in terms of getting behind and stretching the back line, which I didn’t have to think about,” Toye said.

That will be critical as the team pushes for the playoffs.