Giovanni Reyna may begin his first season at Borussia Dortmund with the U-19 side, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t showing both Dortmund and U.S. fans reason for excitement ahead of the future.
The U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team product is coming off back-to-back appearances in friendly wins over the Seattle Sounders and Liverpool. After a 29-minute showing against the Sounders in the Pacific Northwest, Reyna got the start against Liverpool before being subbed off at halftime. He’s got one assist to his name so far for the German giants.
Although he is only 16-years-old, Reyna is beginning to receive praise from not only his manager but members of the organization.
“Gio is already very good, he left a strong first impression,” said Dortmund manager Lucien Favre. “He also has no difficulty with the way we want to play football.”
“He is physically very far”, Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Burki said. “You do not realize he’s only 16 years old, he plays very robust and he knows what it’s all about.”
Reyna, the son of USMNT legend Claudio, made the move from the NYCFC academy to Dortmund earlier this month. With fellow American midfielder Christian Pulisic embarking on the next chapter of his career at Chelsea, Reyna will try to continue the trend that Pulisic started for the new crop of young American talent.
He’s helped the U.S. U-17 MNT qualify for the World Cup which kicks off in Brazil this October and was invited to a U-23 camp earlier this summer. Unlike his father, Gio brings much more to the attacking side of the field and will try to translate that over to Dortmund’s U-19 side for his first professional season overseas.
Despite the excitement that Reyna has brought so far, the club doesn’t show any ideas of rushing Reyna’s development, just like they didn’t do with Pulisic.
“We want Gio – as we have done with Christian Pulisic – to build slowly and gently,” Dortmund’s head of licensed player division Sebastian Kehl said.
Dortmund play Udinese and St. Gallen in two more friendlies before facing Bayern Munich in the German Super Cup on Aug. 3rd.