Erling Haaland, Jadon Sancho, Jude Bellingham are not the only wonder children who have arrived at Borussia Dortmund in recent years. The list continues with several other outstanding players including Youssoufa Moukoko, Karim Adeyemi and Giovanni Reyna. The latter arrived at the German club as early as 2019, having been transferred from the New York City academy. The striker who turned 20 a few days before the start of the FIFA World Cup is living the American dream in Germany.
The United States player has impressed since his first matches with Dortmund’s senior team in 2020. Right at the start, he managed three assists in the same match against Freiburg, becoming at just 18 years old the youngest Bundesliga player to achieve this performance. He also became the second American player to provide three assists in a game in Europe’s Top 5 leagues since Steve Cherundolo in 2008. Naturally, head coach Gregg Berhalter took notice of him immediately and brought him into the United States’ first team, in a friendly against Wales (2020). Meanwhile, Reyna has collected 14 caps and 4 goals for the national team, and if we were to nominate three American players worth watching, he is alone in that select group, along with Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic.
He took over his father’s jersey number with whom he played in the 1998 FIFA World Cup
Giovanni’s story is interesting and at the same time emotional. He comes from a family where football is a way of life. Claudio Reyna was one of the most important players in the history of the American national team, being in the Top 10 by the number of selections (112). At the same time, the young footballer’s father played in three editions of the FIFA World Cup (1998, 2002, and 2006) and represented clubs such as Bayer Leverkusen, Rangers, and Manchester City. Certainly, Claudio’s career was a source of inspiration for Giovanni. In September, the player from Dortmund chose the number 21 shirt for the national team, the same as his father in his first FIA World Cup in 1998. But not only the father played football, but also the mother Danielle Egan, gathered 6 selections for the national team.
Gio made his Dortmund debut at 17 years and 66 days
Giovanni Reyna practically grew up on the football field, he took his first steps at the age of 5. He developed in the academy of New York City FC. His father was the club’s sporting director, but the young player’s rapid rise was due to his own talent and merit. His outstanding performances attracted the interest of Borussia Dortmund, who signed him in 2019.
He debuted for the German team at 17 years and 66 days and became the youngest American to ever play in the Bundesliga. The previous record belonged to Christian Pulisic, who was also at Dortmund and was transferred to Chelsea in London. Towards the end of 2020, after turning 18, Gio extended his contract until 2025, and experts see him as a possible new Jadon Sancho after the Englishman left for Manchester United.
Considered a great talent, Giovanni still has a more sensitive point, he is prone to injuries. And that may have stopped him to some extent from going further. However, he is currently being monitored by even bigger clubs than Borussia Dortmund.
Due to medical issues, he has missed several games this season. However, he managed to get fit before the FIFA World Cup. Gio has caught the German side’s last 10 official matches in all competitions, including three in the UEFA Champions League. Even though he didn’t play in any full games, the fact that he got standing minutes was very important. And the American player scored two goals in this period.
He can be a key player for the USA in Qatar
From a tactical point of view, Giovanni usually plays in the midfield, he can play both on the right and on the left side, but he can also play in the central area, behind the striker. He has very good dribbling skills and a good vision of the game. On the counter, he can be lethal. Reyna Jr. he has the ability to become one of the key men for the Americans right from the final tournament in Qatar, despite the fact that he is still very young.
At the FIFA World Cup, the USA is in a group with England, Wales and Iran. Gio’s story is also interesting from another perspective. He will play against England, the country where he was born, at Sunderland, where his father played in 2002. He could just as well have played for Argentina or Portugal, countries where the player’s grandparents come from, but he did not hesitate at all when he chose the country to represent: the United States. The tradition of the Reyna family must be carried on.