Minnesota United's pursuit of Argentine attacking midfielder Emanuel Reynoso has advanced "significantly" in the past two days and Loons coach Adrian Heath said "we are optimistic" the deal will be done within the week.
"We're hoping we're not far away," Heath said. "In a perfect world, the sooner, the better. As I've said before, sometimes you have to be patient. You have to play the waiting game. We're hopeful in the next week or so."
If it happens, Reynoso's acquisition will follow the recent signing of Paraguayan striker Luis Amarilla, who made his United debut by starting Saturday's final preseason game in Florida.
He scored a goal, too, while playing the first half in a 5-0 victory over USL Championship league team Miami FC.
Call Heath impressed with the first impression Amarilla — at 24, the same age as Reynoso — made. In particular was his connection with veteran Kevin Molino, who has been playing in Florida that attacking midfielder spot that is Reynoso's natural position.
"His movement was outstanding, his link-up play with Molino was something to watch," Heath said. "It really was top-class to watch. He's got great movement in the box, really good. He's got beautiful, soft feet.
"I have to say I was more impressed with him than I thought I was going to be. We thought we'd get a player who could be a threat in the box. His work today was outstanding."
Other items from Saturday's finish to two weeks' training in Florida:
• MLS 2019 Defender of the Year Ike Opara didn't see any game action while in Florida.
Heath said it's a "little bit both" maintenance of the veteran's body and a "couple little knocks but nothing serious."
"He's been getting the work in," Heath said. "We didn't want to put him under the physical contact. He should be fine by the time we get to Portland."
United returned to Minneapolis on Saturday night and will train in Blaine until it leaves Friday for a three-game tournament against MLS teams in Portland.
• Heath started trialist Oswaldo Henriquez at Opara's center-back spot Saturday. He's 30, a free agent and has played professionally at home in Colombia and in Brazil.
"He's played for some big clubs," Heath said. "He's available and somebody we want to take a look at."
He said there are "other things in the pipeline for that spot" as well.
• Saturday's starters Molino, Chase Gasper Michael Boxall, Romain Metanire, Ozzie Alonso, Jan Gregus, Robin Lod and Ethan Finlay played about 15 minutes into the second half. Goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair subbed for starter Tyler Miller and Mason subbed for Amarilla at halftime.
Toye scored twice, Gregus, Amarilla and draft pick Andrew Booth scored once each.
• Heath reunited Saturday with his son Harrison, a former United player who now plays for Miami FC.
"It's always nice," Heath said. "It's nice to see him enjoying his football again. I thought he played well. It's nice to see him, but the most important thing today for us to get an hour's football in and have them look as sharp as they did, considering the amount of work they've done the last two weeks. It's very encouraging."
• Heath said former Columbus Crew striker Aaron Schoenfeld will arrive Saturday night. United veteran Ethan Finlay's teammate at Columbus, Schoenfeld — at 6-4 nicknamed "Big Celery" — has played in Israel the past four seasons.