Adrian Heath has revealed why he withdrew Emanuel Reynoso in the 70th minute of Minnesota United's 2-0 win over Houston Dynamo.
After almost a month out with a hamstring problem, the Argentine returned to action last week against the LA Galaxy. Reynoso made a quick impact, scoring two stunning goals in the opening 20 minutes to help the Loons to a 3-0 victory.
Reynoso once again lined up from the start against the Dynamo on Saturday and created three chances. Even so, despite his side winning 2-0, he was less effective, failing to attempt a shot or complete a take-on, and was yellow carded in the 40th minute.
Following the booking, Reynoso continued to remonstrate with the referee and seemed to be playing on the edge throughout. In the second half, he then appeared to be clutching his hamstring.
Heath decided to pull Reynoso out of the action and the Argentine didn't take the decision well, questioning his manager before he'd even left the pitch.
But speaking to reporters after the match, Heath said Reynoso had to be brought off for his own good, to protect him against both injury and a sending off. Thankfully, he was able to pour cold water on fears regarding Reynoso's hamstring.
“He’s frustrated. I was worried he was going to get sent off, to be honest with you," he told reporters. "He remonstrated with the referee after he had been already booked. And, the way he is, when he gets frustrated with himself, he closes down that quickly that he leaves himself susceptible to catching people and I was worried about that.
"And, he said he felt a little twinge of his hamstring. Fortunately, he feels as though that’s okay. But, yeah, I think he was a little frustrated tonight at times.”
Minnesota's win leaves them sixth in the Western Conference, though they're just four points ahead of LAFC in eighth, just below the playoff line.
With that in mind, Heath will want Reynoso back on top form quickly, with the Loons facing consecutive away games against DC United and FC Dallas over the next week.