Loons say suspended Reynoso is back in Minnesota

Chris O'Meara, AP

Suspended and absent Minnesota United star Emanuel Reynoso has returned to Minnesota, the club announced Saturday.

In a statement, the Loons said the two-time MLS All-Star remains unavailable for all team activities until further notice "as he works toward reintegration with the club."

Reynoso was suspended without pay in February by MLS for failing to report in the preseason. He had signed a new contract signed late last season that's intended to keep him with the Loons through 2026.

He didn't report to the team's training facility in Blaine when teammates did in early January and has remained at home in Argentina since then because of what the club only termed "personal matters."

The Loons have started the season 3-3-3 without him and were winless at home with a 0-1-3 record at Allianz Field and 3-2 on the road entering Saturday's late-night game at Vancouver.

Last Sunday's FS1 broadcast of the Loons-FC Dallas game reported a club representative had been in Argentina two weeks earlier and believed Reynoso was within 24 hours of getting on a plane to Minnesota.

He didn't.

Loons coach Adrian Heath spoke about the matter after that home game last Sunday.

"We've had people down [in Argentina] and we've spoken to Rey consistently," Heath said. "It was disappointing because we thought he was going to be back. So we'll keep asking the question and hopefully some sort of common sense will prevail and he gets on a plane and comes back here."

Heath indicated throughout preseason and into a regular season that started in late February that expected Reynoso to report to the club almost any day now.

Heath also repeatedly said Reynoso's absence was unrelated to his legal troubles stemming from a December 2021 gun-related arrest in his hometown of Cordoba, Argentina.

The Loons acquired Reynoso from his Boca Juniors club in Argentina, signed to one of the club's three Designated Player slots. He set a MLS record by recording three assists each in consecutive games while leading the Loons to the Western Conference final at Seattle and within mere minutes of reaching the MLS Cup final.

Heath made Reynoso one of his 12 coach's picks for August's MLS All-Star Game played at Allianz Field and has always maintained he is a MVP talent if only he scores as much as he creates for others. Reynoso also was selected for the 2021 All-Star Game but was injured.

"When you get an opportunity to sign an MVP type player, you want to keep them type of players around," Heath said at the time last September. "We're just pleased he has committed the main part of his career to us and now we have to build around him, to put the right pieces that will allow him to flourish. That's what the aim will be over the next few years."