Emanuel Reynoso absent from Minnesota United FC over green card issue

Minnesota United midfielder Emanuel Reynoso (10) looks for a pass chased by Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Chara (21) during the Portland Timbers game Minnesota United first round MLS Cup Playoffs match on November 21, 2021, at Providence Park, Po ((Photo by Diego Diaz/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images))

Minnesota United hosts Houston Dynamo Saturday night at Allianz Field, and the Loons will not have one of their best players on the pitch.

Midfielder Emanuel Reynoso has been back in his native Argentina since mid-March. He went back during the international break to work through the process of obtaining his green card to work in the U.S. and play for the Loons.

During that time, he had a scheduled green card meeting that he did not attend. Had he gone through the process, he could’ve traveled back to Minnesota and would’ve been eligible to play at Philadelphia on March 30, a game the Loons lost 2-0.

Reynoso is a two-time Major League Soccer All-Star, but has played just 31 minutes in six matches this season. Minnesota United FC Chief Soccer Officer Khaled El-Ahmad released a statement Tuesday on Reynoso.

"Emanuel Reynoso did not attend his recent green card appointment, and he remains in Argentina," El-Ahmad said. "We do not have an updated timeline for his return and have no additional comment at this time. Our entire focus is on the players and staff who are here."

The Loons wanted Reynoso to obtain his green card to remove him from one of the eight international roster spots. He was suspended without pay in January of 2023 for failing to report to Loons’ training camp. He didn’t get to Minnesota until May. He returned to the field in June and finished the season with six goals and four assists.

Reynoso again failed to report to training camp this past January, reporting a week later and then traveling with the team to Arizona. He cited family reasons for his absences, saying through a team spokesperson that he and his girlfriend were expecting a child. He wanted to arrange medical plans for her before he traveled to Minnesota, and she would be by herself.

Reynoso is under contract with Minnesota United through the 2025 season, but it’s not clear when he’ll return to the Loons. Minnesota United is off to a promising start at 3-1-2 through its first six matches, fourth in the Western Conference. They’re coming off a 1-1 draw against Salt Lake.