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Welcome to the twentieth (I think) Season Preview of the 2023 MLS season! We push forward to the Minnesota United Loons. This offseason's major storyline is without a doubt the absence of DP midfielder Emmanuel Reynoso. Can MNUFC overcome the negative feelings or can fans expect another bumpy start to an MLS season? For those of you who are new to MLS Now's work, thanks for reading today and check out all of what our podcast and blog site has to offer. Let's get into it below.
Record: 14-6-14 (48 points/6th in West)
Team Leader Goals: Emanuel Reynoso 10, Luis Amarilla 9, Franco Fragapane 7
Team Leader Assists: Emanuel Reynoso 11, Luis Amarilla 5, Bongokuhle Hlongwane 4
Manager: Adrian Heath (7th season)
Additions: CB Mikael Marques ($270k transfer from AFC Eskilstuna/21 years old), FW Cameron Dunbar ($75k conditional GAM +3rd-round 2023 SuperDraft pick from LA Galaxy/20 years old), CB Doneil Henry (free agent from Toronto FC/29 years old), RB Zarek Valentin (free agent from Houston Dynamo/31 years old), GK Clint Irwin (free agent from Colorado Rapids/33 years old), CB Miguel Tapias (free agent from Pachuca/26 years old).
Subtractions: CDM Jonathan Gonzalez (end of loan to Monterrey/23 years old), RB Oniel Fisher (end of contract/31 years old), CM Jacori Hayes (end of contract/27 years old), FW Abu Danladi (end of contract/27 years old), RB Romain Metanire (end of contract/32 years old), GK Tyler Miller (end of contract/29 years old), CAM Aziel Jackson ($150k GAM received from St Louis City SC/21 years old)
Designated Players: CAM Emmanuel Reynoso, ST Luis Amarilla, ST Mender Garcia
Projected Starting XI
Let's just jump right into this. The Emmanuel Reynoso situation is hanging over this club like a cloud. It's unfortunate because, other than the Reynoso situation, Minnesota has had a relatively positive offseason. The Loons have bolstered their defense and can feel much more comfortable about their attacking options now that Amarilla is back alongside Garcia.
If you're not familiar with the Reynoso situation (I feel like I need to trademark this term with the amount of time I've written it), basically, Reynoso is in Argentina for what many presume to be legal reasons after last year's news that he allegedly attacked a teenager. Due to this, he has not reported to preseason, causing the team to "suspend him without pay" for failure to report to preseason. It's not a good look for him, the team, or the league, and its caused quite a stir in the Minnesota camp.
Nevertheless, the Loons must continue their preparations for the coming season without their star man. If preseason is any indication of the actual season, then Minnesota has some work to do. Minnesota is currently 1-1-3 against MLS opposition this preseason. If they're planning on making the playoffs in 2023, Minnesota United must find a way to succeed without their star man.
Thanks for viewing our twentieth 2023 season preview. There will be a new one out about every single day leading up to MLS kickoff. If you are a passionate fan looking to write about your club, we are actively seeking contributors for MLS clubs this season. If interested, message us on either Twitter or Instagram @MLSNowPodcast. We want to provide an outlet for fans to discuss their club on the site and also guest star on the podcast throughout the season.