After more the half a year of ups, downs, negotiations, nearly done deals, nearly dead deals and – oh yeah – a global pandemic, Minnesota United finally inked their prime transfer target in Emanuel Reynoso. The signing, Minnesota’s most expensive in club history, makes “Bebelo” the team’s third Designated Player.
“This deal was eight months,” explained MNUFC technical director Mark Watson on a Tuesday conference call with media. “We’ve known about him and been following him for a long time. I went down in the middle of January and tried to get things done, but it was pretty clear early on that this wasn’t going to be quick.”
The central attacking midfielder joins the Loons from storied Argentine club Boca Juniors, where he tallied five goals and eight assists in 66 appearances over three seasons.
In addition to revealing he will wear No. 10 for United, everything points to Reynoso taking over as Minnesota’s starting “No. 10”, which is arguably the most important attacking position in Adrian Heath’s patented 4-2-3-1 formation. While scoring has been lacking over the last three matches, with just three combined goals in those contests, there’s confidence among the team and the 24-year old himself that he can bring out the best in the Loons’ attack.
“We know we have a really talented footballer, and we want to get the best out of him,” said Heath. “I’m a firm believer this kid can score and make goals in MLS.”
Reynoso has also been doing his own research on Minnesota, specifically his new teammates in the attacking-third, and sees a ton of potential in how he fits in with that core and what they can all do as a group.
“I watched a lot of [United] games and how [Luis Amarilla, Robin Lod, and Ethan Finlay] work together,” said Reynoso. “I’m really excited to join this particular attacking group. I think we’re going to do really well altogether.”
The agreement between Minnesota and Boca was originally announced via the Argentine club’s Twitter account on August 21st during the Loons’ match against Sporting Kansas City, but Heath said postgame they still needed to bring the Córdoba, Argentina native in to sign the dotted line.
Having been spotted and photographed at the MSP Airport the following day, Reynoso made the trip and reportedly began his league-mandated 10-day quarantine immediately.
In fact, Heath expects the club to receive final approval on Reynoso’s International Travel Certificate (ITC) before they leave for their Wednesday match in Houston, and if that happens Reynoso will travel with the club and ideally see some playing time.
“At 7:15 pm today his quarantine is up, and he will travel with us to Houston [pending approvals],” said Heath. “He’ll be straight in with the group. I think it’s important to integrate him as quickly as possible.”
It’s easy to see, by the persistence and time and effort the Loons’ front office put in to make this a reality, that the club was 100% in on Reynoso as their next impact addition.
Watson made sure to note, however, that Reynoso was equally motivated to getting the deal done and becoming a member of Minnesota United.
“One thing that was consistent throughout is Boca wasn’t looking to get rid of Reynoso,” said Watson. “I think it’s a testament to him to persevere and stick with his commitment to Minnesota.”
During his first media availability, the new Loons signee expressed his gratitude for United’s continued interest, and despite having the attention of other clubs worldwide, it was that show of commitment that helped him choose to come north and play at Allianz Field.
“I came here because the club showed a lot of interest in me,” said Reynoso. “Their pursuit of me really showed how much they wanted me to be part of this club, and that made me really excited to be here.”