Feb 15, 2019; USA; Minnesota United FC player Collin Martin (17) poses for a 2019 MLS portrait. Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports | USA TODAY Sports

The Loons are letting Collin Martin go, but not permanently. Minnesota United announced Tuesday that the club is loaning the Chevy Chase, MD midfielder to the United Soccer League’s new expansion team, Hartford Athletic, for the remainder of the 2019 season.

MU retains the right to recall Martin from Connecticut at any time throughout the duration of the loan.

As Outsports reported in December, Martin is the only one of the more than 3,000 men playing in one of the five major American sports leagues who is openly gay.

“I’m so grateful I’ve gotten to this point,” Martin told Outsports in June 2018, after coming out. “I think I would have been very sad if I didn’t come out during my career.”

Since then, Martin has been a role model for LGBTQ athletes, posting often in social media about causes that are important to him. He was named Outsports Male Hero of the Year in December 2018.

Martin’s known as a creative, young player, and started five of 12 games played in 2018, with one assist on April 28 vs. Houston. He made seven starts in 11 appearances for the Loons during the 2017 season. Martin joined the squad after being traded by D.C. United on January 3, 2017.

According to the Minnesota United website, he’s also represented the United States at U14, U15 and U17 levels, and was the only high-school junior to train with the U20 squad in January 2012.

Martin first joined MLS as a homegrown signing for D.C. United in July 2013, according to the Hartford Athletic website. He spent time on loan with the Richmond Kickers from 2013 to 2015 before eventually sealing a move to the Loons in exchange for a fourth-round pick in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft.

Hartford Athletic’s season is already underway with the Club’s historic home opener taking place on May 4th at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Connecticut. They’re not off to the best of starts, 0-7, but Martin hopefully will help to turn that record around.

Don't forget to share: