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Loons star Emanuel Reynoso’s status up in air for Timbers match Saturday

Reynoso, who has a team-high 10 goals, tweaked his right ankle before halftime of last Saturday’s 3-0 loss to FC Dallas.

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Minnesota United midfielder Emanuel Reynoso sprints towards the Real Salt Lake goal in the second half of a MLS game at Allianz Field in St. Paul on July 3, 2022.
John Autey / St. Paul Pioneer Press
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ST. PAUL -- Emanuel Reynoso’s status for Saturday’s Minnesota United game at the Portland Timbers won’t be known until later this week.

Before Tuesday’s training session, Reynoso and manager Adrian Heath had a brief meeting with Head Athletic Trainer Donnie Fuller and Saul Rosales, the assistant team administrator. The MLS All-Star midfielder’s health was the topic.

“It’s swollen. Outside ligament has a little bit of discoloration and it’s puffy at this moment in time,” Heath said of Reynoso’s ankle injury after practice. “We are going to take a few days and see if we can get it down and go from there. … It will be day to day most of the week.”

Reynoso, who has a team-high 10 goals, tweaked his right ankle before halftime of last Saturday’s 3-0 loss to FC Dallas and was subbed out in the 62nd minute. The Argentine has been dealing with the injury for a portion of the season.

Downward

With a pair of 3-0 losses to Salt Lake and Dallas last week, MNUFC has fallen from third place in MLS’s Western Conference to fifth but have a game in hand on third-place Dallas and fourth-place Nashville SC.

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The Loons still have a 89 percent chance of making the MLS Cup Playoffs, according to FiveThirtyEight.com. The projections site says MNUFC’s best odds are getting back to the third spot (21 percent) or fourth spot (19), meaning the Loons would host a MLS Cup Playoffs game in St. Paul in October.

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The Loons acquired Rosales on an 18-month loan in August 2021, liked what they saw across 30 MLS matches.
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Magee will vacate his role in the Loons’ front office in scouting and recruitment, which saw him routinely travel abroad in search of MLS talent.
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Minnesota locked in the sixth seed and will travel to No. 3 FC Dallas for a first-round match next week.
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Fragapane is on a team-friendly guaranteed compensation of $257,000, per MLSPA, and has been one of the most productive Loons over his two seasons.
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MNUFC went into Saturday’s match in California with an opportunity to clinch a playoff spot with a win and some help. That assistance came with Real Salt Lake’s draw with L.A. Galaxy late Saturday night, but Minnesota didn’t do its part of the equation.
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Without him, the Loons are clinging to one of the final playoff spots with two games remaining.
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With Minnesota’s playoff positioning slipping in three straight scoreless losses, a goal and a point will be precious. But they lost points from a winning position at home.
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After a slow start, the Loons ascended to be one of the league’s best through late August, netting 26 out of the next 33 points during that stretch.
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Matt Navratil, a 26-year-old from Burnsville, Minnesota, is a diehard Loons fan and a season-ticket holder who travels with his parents, Scott and Chris, to a few road games each season.

FiveThirtyEight has the following odds for Minnesota: fifth place (18 percent), sixth (16) and seventh (12). Those three spots would mean Minnesota goes on the road for a first-round matchup.

Minnesota’s 3-1 loss at Portland in the first round of last year’s playoffs is an example of the importance of playing the playoff opener at home.

Planning ahead

After Portland, MNUFC has a short turnaround to host Los Angeles FC next Tuesday. Last week, Heath prioritized the Dallas match over the RSL game during the week, making five elective changes to give starters a lighter work load midweek in Utah.

“We are in a situation now where I don’t think there is an awful lot of rotation available for us,” Heath said about the week ahead.

Briefly

With Franco Fragapane suspended for the Portland match due to yellow-card accumulation, Robin Lod is a candidate to vacate his makeshift midfield spot and rejoin the attack. Reynoso’s status will play a role in the decision, Heath said. MNUFC could use two strikers — Luis Amarilla and Mender Garcia — against the Timbers. … Backup center back Callum Montgomery (thigh) is expected to be out for a few more weeks, Heath said. That leaves Nabi Kibunguchy as the only natural center back remaining on the depth chart behind Brent Kallman and Michael Boxall.

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