Emanuel Reynoso finding "that gear" for Minnesota United FC

Minnesota United FC head coach Adrian Heath is seldom shy to sing midfielder Emanuel Reynoso’s praises, and things were no different after Saturday’s 3-0 win over visiting Chicago Fire FC.

The Argentine No. 10 had one goal and one assist, following up on his two-assist performance from last week’s victory over the Colorado Rapids, also at Allianz Field.

The uptick in form coincides with Reynoso’s family recently joining him in the Twin Cities, and it’s shown on the field.

“As I’ve said before, he’s MVP talent,” said Heath. “The fact that his family is here will be a huge boost to him. I feel like he’s just starting to click into that gear that we know he can do.”

Reynoso arrived at Minnesota midway through the 2020 season from Boca Juniors, a drawn-out pursuit that got over the finish line during the worst periods of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ever since, and now with the likes of Robin Lod and Luis Amarilla helping lead the attack, he’s proven central to just about all positive moves from the Loons.

“If we want to do what we want to do, or what I think we’re capable of, there’s no doubt we’re going to need a fit, healthy and very, very in form Reynoso to do so,” Heath said.

The remarks come as Minnesota appear to be rounding into form. They won just two of their first six matches, but now have three straight victories after league results sandwiched a US Open Cup triumph midweek over USL League One side Forward Madison.

Heath, who’s engineered three straight Audi MLS Cup Playoff appearances, feels they have another level or two to reach.

“We’re still not where we would like to be,” Heath said. “I think we’re getting better, but not where we want to be. I still don’t think we’ve put a really consistent 90 minutes together, but it bodes well that we’re winning games.”

The day’s only down note, for MNUFC, was news that midfielder Hassani Dotson has suffered a season-ending ACL injury. While losing a player who had been on the field for every minute of the 2022 season before then is a hard pill to swallow, Heath was bullish on the depth of his squad.

“When Hassani goes down, the fact that we can bring in an MLS veteran [Oniel Fisher] who’s been through the league and seen it, done it, and knows what to expect, it’s a big, big bonus for us,” said Heath, who said the news of Dotson’s injury was devastating. “The depth that we’ve got was very apparent in the cup game midweek.”