Minnesota United star midfielder Emanuel Reynoso watched injured from home last summer when the MLS All-Star Game played on in Los Angeles without him.
This time, he will play — at home, inside his club's Allianz Field, with the best from his own Major League Soccer and Mexico's Liga MX on Wednesday night.
Loons teammate Dayne St. Clair will join him both for the Wednesday game and in Tuesday night's MLS All-Star Skills Challenge, also at Allianz Field.
Reynoso's own coach, Adrian Heath, is leading the MLS All-Stars, and he used two of his 12 coach's picks to name Reynoso and St. Clair to the team. This time, Reynoso is healthy and on a hot streak, having scored seven goals in his past eight games before he served a one-game suspension Saturday night at Colorado.
Reynoso calls himself grateful for a second chance to play on such a big stage with and against an array of talent that includes an abundance of MLS offensive midfielders and forwards.
Five others alone also wear their club's No. 10 number, which usually represents the attacking/playmaking midfielder who plays just behind the forwards. Reynoso wears it. So, too, do New England's Carles Gil, FC Cincinnati's Luciano Acosta, Nashville SC's Hany Mukhtar, FC Dallas' Jesus Ferreira and Los Angeles FC forward Carlos Vela.
Then there's others such as L.A. Galaxy's center forward Chicharito and Austin FC forward Sebastian Driussi as well.
This year's MLS All-Stars met for the first time before Monday's training session at the Loons' Blaine facility, where Heath spoke.
"In our first little meeting here, Coach was saying we have 10 No. 10s," Nashville FC and U.S. men's national team defender Walker Zimmerman said. "Maybe we'll just go out with all them on the field, which would be very fun for me to watch. Maybe we can switch positions at some time Wednesday and see what happens."
Both Reynoso and Heath have never participated in an All-Star Game of any sort before. They don't have such things in Reynoso's Argentina home or Heath's England.
Reynoso called an all-star game a very American concept that he nonetheless was definitely disappointed to miss this time last year.
Heath called this All-Star week "something new for me."
"It's something I'm really excited about, something that I'm really looking forward to," said Heath, who will coach the MLS team because he is the home coach with the Loons. "One of the highlights for a coach is when you get surrounded by top-drawer talent and that's what we've got. I'm really looking forward to getting to know them a little more than just shaking hands after a game. I think it's going to be a great occasion."
That occasion gives Reynoso the chance to show his talents before his hometown crowd in his home stadium.
Heath calls Reynoso an All-Star just about any time he steps on the field and a MVP candidate when he scores like he has done lately.
Reynoso is not the only one so talented.
"It's so fun to be able to watch these guys live and in training," Zimmerman said. "Especially when we take the field Wednesday. So much talent. I hope they all gel on the field. Creative minds, creative feet. There should be some pretty special connections that take place on the field."