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Emanuel Reynoso lets Loons down in big way with suspension from unnecessary foul

Reynoso drew a yellow card late in Tuesday's 1-1 draw with LAFC

MLS: Los Angeles FC at Minnesota United FC
Minnesota United midfielder Emanuel Reynoso follows the ball against Los Angeles FC at Allianz Field on Sept. 13, 2022.
Matt Blewett / USA Today Sports
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ST. PAUL — Minnesota United would not be holding onto an MLS Cup Playoffs position without Emanuel Reynoso’s 20 total goal contributions — 10 goals and 10 assists — through 31 games this season.

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Emanuel Reynoso

But the Loons’ MVP will let his team down on Saturday.

Reynoso tugged on Los Angeles FC attacker Kwadwo Opoku and drew a yellow card late in Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with visiting LAFC, reaching yellow-card accumulation, and was automatically smacked with a one-game suspension for Saturday’s game at Sporting Kansas City.

It was all so unnecessary. Knowing he was one caution away from a ban, Reynoso had avoided a booking through the first 87 minutes vs. LAFC and there was no need for him to grab Opoku when they were 70 yards away from the goal. If he shows restraint there, Reynoso is available to help his fifth-place side further solidify itself in the playoff field.

“You have to keep your discipline, and it’s very hard when these guys have been working since January to be in this position,” manager Adrian Heath said Tuesday. “Every game and every point is vital to everybody.

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“And there is emotion. I played; I know what it’s like. For me telling them to keep their heads in the heat of the moment, sometimes, is difficult. But it’s cost us dearly with some of the yellow cards that we have, there is no doubt about that.”

The Loons have had nine players miss games due to yellow-card accumulation and two more players receive red cards, which, of course, come with automatic one-game bans.

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In the seven previous games with a player suspended this season, the Loons have come away with one win and six defeats.

“We’ve had it too much this season,” Heath said Tuesday. “… I can understand it if they are tough tackling people who have to go for the ball because that’s the way they play, but that’s not (Reynoso).”

This will be Reynoso’s second suspension for yellow cards. The first came along with Michael Boxall and Robin Lod being out for accumulation in the Aug. 6 game at Colorado. That was a triple whammy.

There have been two double whammies. The Loons had Boxall and Kervin Arriaga out together against NYCFC in May, and two suspensions hitting one player.

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Michael Boxall

Franco Fragapane got a yellow card in the FC Dallas loss on Sept. 3, which triggered an accumulation suspension. Then in that same game, he got a second yellow, which became red, and he had to sit out a second, separate game. He will be eligible to play against Sporting.

The Loons also had a near miss in Tuesday's game. Abu Danladi had subbed on for Lod at halftime and was booked with a yellow card within seven minutes, and was lucky to avoid another yellow after another egregious challenge that wasn’t whistled.

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“He arguably could have been sent off,” Heath said Tuesday. “We couldn’t take that chance, not against this team.”

So, Danladi, who has only two goals this season, had the inglorious distinction of being subbed on and subbed off in the same game.

Come Saturday, the Loons might also be without Lod, whose calf injury kept him out of Thursday’s training session in Blaine.

“We’ll see how he is (Friday),” Heath said. “Looking doubtful, I would say, is the best way to describe it. We do have the two-week window” with the international break.

Briefly

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Dayne St. Clair

Goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair (Canada) and Boxall (New Zealand) will be called in to play for their national teams. Only St. Clair has a shot at playing in the FIFA World Cup in November. The Loons are not playing during next week’s international window. Their next game is at San Jose on Oct. 1. … More than 70 traveling Loons supporters are expected at Children’s Mercy Park for Saturday’s game in Kansas; it would be MNUFC’s largest group of official fans in an opposing stadium this season.

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Related Topics: MINNESOTA UNITED FC
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