Luis Amarilla, Emanuel Reynoso lead Loons to 2-0 win over D.C. United


			Luis Amarilla, Emanuel Reynoso lead Loons to 2-0 win over D.C. United
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Luis Amarilla is paid to score and create goals for Minnesota United, but it was the Paraguyan striker’s defensive effort that earned him a paycheck in a 2-0 win over D.C. United on Saturday night at Allianz Field.

Sure, Amarilla assisted on both of Emanuel Reynoso’s goals — one in each half — and it was Amarilla’s first two-assist game across 27 played for Minnesota across two seasons. Amarilla had two assists across his previous 26 games.

Amarilla’s first assist, a nice flick to Reynoso in the 13th minute, will be a highlight.

Amarilla’s second assist wouldn’t have been possible without him tracking back into D.C.’s half of the field, forcing a turnover on Sofiane Djeffal and jumpstarting the Loons’ counter attack.

With possession, Reynoso pinged a diagonal ball to a sprinting Amarilla down the left flank. Amarilla then fed Reynoso in the box for a trickling shot that became the second goal. Reynoso, who was named to the MLS All-Star Game on Tuesday, has nine goals this season.

Amarilla’s example also was the effort manager Adrian Heath felt was lacking at the start of the 1-1 draw with Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday.

Minnesota (9-8-4) climbed into the top four places in the Western Conference; they are unbeaten in a season-high five games. D.C. (5-11-3) remained in last place in the Eastern Conference.

Minnesota caught a break with MLS All-Star Taxi Fountas out with a minor injury. The Greek playmaker had an injury scare in the 2-2 draw with Columbus midweek, but he stayed in the game to score his 10th goal of the season.

Fountas wasn’t the only one absence. D.C. traded wingback Julian Gressel to Vancouver on Friday and striker Ola Kamara (glute) was out.

New head coach Wayne Rooney was in St. Paul, but interim head coach Chris Aston remained on the sideline as Rooney must obtain his immigration paperwork.

The Loons made no changes to its starting XI om Wednesday, asking the majority of field starters to log heavy minutes in a condensed schedule. They got the job done Saturday.


New Loons player Alan Benitez was introduced before Saturday’s game. The Paraguyan is ineligible to play in games as he awaits his immigration paperwork. … Vikings offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw particiated in the pregame coin-toss. … Heath and Rooney, who both played for Everton, visited before Saturday’s game. MNUFC will play Everton in an international friendly on Wednesday.

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