Emanuel Reynoso: MLS All-Star, Dark Horse MVP Candidate and…leading goalscorer?

Emanuel Reynoso, on his best day, is one of the best players across Major League Soccer. It’s something Minnesota United FC manager Adrian Heath has reiterated week-in and week-out since the Argentine landed in Minnesota.

Reynoso has kept the Loons afloat over the past three months, and without him, they would presumably be nowhere near where they currently are in the Western Conference standings. The 25-year-old was recently named the MLS Player of the Week for his two-goal performance in the Loons 2-0 victory over D.C. United, adding to an incredible five game stretch where he’s scored six goals and added two assists. To make it even more impressive, it was his third brace in five matches.

“I’ve always said that he has MVP talent, which we know. The one thing that I’ve always said to him, lacking and going back to when he was at Boca Juniors, he should score more goals. He’s a really good finisher,” Heath said postgame Saturday evening. “People might think the second one was a fantastic first touch and he knows that the keeper is mid stride to get across to try and take the near post away. He’s a quality player. If he can get ten to fifteen goals every season then we’ve got one of the best players in the league on our hands.”

– Adrian Heath

Despite a condensed 2022 schedule due to the forthcoming November FIFA World Cup, Reynoso has been at his best this summer, carrying Minnesota in the attack. With six goals in the last five matches, Reynoso not only leads the team in scoring, but he’s scored half of their 12 goals during that span.

In total, “El Rey” has nine goals and five assists to his name this campaign. A slow start to 2022 for Reynoso saw the Loons look to winger Robin Lod for goals, but now, Reynoso is in the best form of the season. The attacking midfielder’s form has his name being thrown around as a Dark Horse MVP candidate ahead of the 2022 MLS All-Star game; where, of course, the Loons’ No. 10 will make an appearance following his selection to the MLS roster alongside goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair.

Reynoso’s selection is a validation of not only his importance to the squad, but the league’s name.

Across all of Argentina Emanuel “Bebelo” Reynoso is a known quantity, as he played for their largest footballing institution in Boca Juniors (sorry River Plate fans) before his transfer to Minnesota. Seeing someone like Rey succeed in the league not only draws viewers from around the world, it entices young footballers to follow in his footsteps.

Now, the rest of the 2022 campaign is an opportunity for Reynoso to shoot for the top… for both club and individually.

Bebelo is one goal away from doubling his scoring total in 2021, where he found the back of the net just five times for the Loons. However, his lack of goals was made up for in the assisting department, where he added 10, totaling his XG+A (expected goals + assists) to 15 last season. Through 21 matches this campaign, out of 34 total, Reynoso is already at an XG+A of 14; with a baker’s dozen matches left to be played this season, the Argentine is on track to not only outdo his 2021 season, but to demolish it.

A healthy Reynoso, on his best day, is good enough to carry this Loons roster to not only the playoffs, but a top-four finish – which would secure a home playoff match. The Loons’ goal this entire campaign has been just that, too. Heath has adamantly said that he wants to reward the fans and supporters alike with a home playoff game, and based on their current form… they’re on their way there.

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