In an unexpected development, the team announced this afternoon that Greg Dalby, a member of the U.S. junior national team and a reserve on the Colorado Rapids, will don the RailHawks kit this Sunday in Minnesota.

The reason given is to ease the pressure on the RailHawks midfielders in the midst of a five-game flurry on the schedule. One wonders, too, if coach Martin Rennie is confident enough in getting three points from the last-place Thunder that he thinks the downside of a new face in the mix is minimal.

Dalby had a stellar career at Notre Dame, but spun his wheels for a season in Belgium (among other things, he had work permit issues) before returning stateside to play for Colorado last season. Playing time has been scarce for him everywhere, though.

Although the midfield wasn’t especially effective last night against Portland, two strong mids were on the sidelines: Matt Watson took the night off, while Paladini came on as a second-half sub. They were resting, according to Rennie, who made a point of expressing his confidence in Brian Plotkin and Kupono Low, who started in the front of the midfield, and who both made strong efforts at the elusive goal. Given that it’s Minnesota, and with the addition of Dalby, one wonders if Watsonand perhaps Paladiniwill take another game off.

I’d love to know more about the mechanics and rationale of weekend loans. From the text of Tim Candon’s post, it looks like Rennie has agreed to play Dalby 90 minutes. I’m traveling now, but hope to find out more. In the meantime, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

Dalby’s wiki page is here.