Minnesota United star Emanuel Reynoso will be with his team when preseason training begins Monday, coach Adrian Heath said Tuesday.
Reynoso is expected at the club's Blaine training facility after he was arrested in early December and detained for more than a week back home in Argentina.
Reynoso was held on allegations he struck a 16-year-old male with a gun at a party. Argentina media reports translated from Spanish back then quoted his lawyer saying his client did not participate in any fight or violence "because he was not there."
Argentina authorities in his hometown of Cordoba cleared him to work in Minnesota and Major League Soccer after he posted bail approaching $10,000 American, according to those media reports.
Heath said his club and MLS continue to review the incident and allegations and he declined to comment further except to say, "Rey will be with us next week and we've spoke to him regularly over the last few weeks. It looks like things have settled down, but no, Rey will be with us next week, for sure."
Heath spoke on a media video call Tuesday after the Loons selected St. John's University (N.Y) forward Tani Oluwaseyi with the 17th overall pick in the MLS SuperDraft. The club also signed veteran defender Brent Kallman to a new two-year contract, keeping him with a franchise he first joined in its NASL days in 2015.
The Loons will start training Monday without veterans Robin Lod, Michael Boxall and newly signed 21-year-old forward South African international Bongokuhle Hlongwane from his country's premier division and national team.
Lod has been doing required military service in his native Finland and Heath said Lod will spend time with his family before he reports near the team's end of training in Florida. Boxall is expected back after his New Zealand national team plays a World Cup qualifier against Uzbekistan on Feb. 1.
Hlongwane is waiting for his immigration paperwork and Heath expects he'll arrive when the team is in Florida at month's end.
"Like everybody, we're in the hands of officials in Washington," Heath said.
Eyes on Amarilla
Heath said he is hopeful the Loons will add "maybe two, three" new players before they leave Florida early next month.
One of them could be another forward, and a familiar face: Luis Amarilla, who played for the Loons in an injury-marred and COVID-19 shortened 2020 season before he turned to play in Ecuador. He scored three goals in 10 games with the Loons.
Heath said his team needs two more defenders, too: a fullback who can play both outside positions and another center back who can play understudy to Boxall, Bakaye Dibassy and Kallman for two years.
Oluwaseyi said he had few expectations about when, where and if he'd be drafted after he missed the 2021 collegiate season because of a dislocated kneecap.
His parents, brother and some cousins gathered at home in suburban Toronto hoping to hear his name called. His father watching on his phone heard it before his son did because of a five-second delay on the devices they were watching.
"He just started yelling at the top his lungs, "said Oluwaseyi, a strong and what he calls "exciting" and Heath terms "dangerous" scorer. "Then I heard my name. It was unreal and surreal. Basically 16 years of hard work, honestly. I'm really grateful for it."
Bringing Brent back
The Loons declined Kallman's contract option for 2022 when last season ended, but always intended to bring him back on a new negotiated deal. He is now signed through 2023.
"We were always pretty certain we could get a deal done," Heath said. "We were pleased with him. Whenever Brent has been called upon, he has done really, really well for us. We're pleased he has decided to stay. It's a match made in heaven, really. He's a local boy. He likes it here and we like having him around as well."
- Heath said the club is negotiating with loaned-out midfielder Thomas Chacon's representatives about his future, which isn't expected to include a return to Minnesota. Heath said he's hopeful to reach a resolution in the "next few weeks."
- Heath celebrated his 61st birthday Tuesday working the draft and wearing some stylish spectacles. "Getting old," he said.