Emanuel Reynoso, Minnesota United’s star Argentinian playmaker, may be moving on from the team. The Athletic’s Tom Bogert reported this week that Minnesota had begun conversations with Liga MX’s Club Tijuana for a potential Reynoso transfer.

If he moves on, it will be a sad end to his Major League Soccer career  – one that will go down as one of the most painful missed opportunities in league history.

In 2020, Reynoso joined Minnesota United as a designated player. He had a quite the resume, following a charmed youth career in his home city of Cordoba and several impressive seasons at Boca Juniors, one of Argentina’s biggest clubs. 

Reynoso led Boca Juniors to the semifinals of the Copa Libertadores, South America’s most prestigious club soccer competition, scoring beautiful goals along the way.

He also lit up MLS in his first season, taking Minnesota to the Western Conference final and setting a league record for playoff assists. 

“I’m sure over the next few years, he’ll become one of the best players in MLS,” Minnesota manager Adrian Heath said at the time, per MLS.com.

It wasn’t to be, though. Reynoso’s promise faded over the 2021 and 2022 seasons. In 2023, it disappeared altogether – and so did he.

In spring 2023, Minnesota United gathered its team for preseason training, but Reynoso never showed. He had traveled home to Argentina during the offseason and simply didn’t return. No one at the club – not his teammates, coach or even the staff responsible for his travel arrangements – knew where he was or why he had failed to get on his booked flight. 

Word eventually got back to Minnesota that Reynoso was safe, but there was no update on his return timeline.

Reynoso finally came back to Minnesota in May – 11 games into the 2023 season. He expressed regret for his actions and promised he would be a better teammate.

“The truth is that what I did was not right, I know that,” Reynoso said. “I am very grateful for them [the Minnesota fans and players] always supporting me… I hope I can return all the love, all the support they gave me on the field, off the field and try to change.”

At the end of 2023, Minnesota underwent a massive rebuild. In early 2024, the club hired Eric Ramsay (an assistant with Manchester United) as head coach. It also changed several key backroom staff members to accelerate the team’s growth, setting up a situation for Reynoso to thrive.

As spring training crept nearer, however,  Reynoso failed to appear.

“I think we’ve all kind of moved on,” Minnesota defender Michael Boxall said in April, per The Athletic. “I don’t even know if anyone actually knows what the situation is. I think he’s made decisions that kind of shows everyone around here that he doesn’t care too much about the club.”

In 2024, Reynoso didn’t just miss the beginning of preseason. He missed months of action, multiple scheduled plane flights and at least one appointment to get his U. S. green card. 

Reynoso’s potential seems unlimited, but his unreliability crushed his MLS momentum before it could really get going. By even considering a Reynoso transfer, Tijuana is taking a massive risk. 

Should he ultimately land with Tijuana and turn up in good spirits and delivering as he did for Boca Juniors and Minnesota in 2019-2020, the club would have a world-class attacker for a comparatively small fee. But with Reynoso, Tijuana wouldn’t just have to worry if he would show up in good spirits. It would have to worry if he would show up at all.

Despite playing without Reynoso, Minnesota – which plays next against Colorado on Saturday – is second in the Western Conference. Think where they might be if they had one of the MLS’ top players full time.


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