Gio Reyna’s rapid rise with Borussia Dortmund has made him the biggest story in American soccer, and his successful transition into Dortmund’s first-team rotation figured to translate into a U.S. Men’s National Team call sooner than later.
USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter confirmed on Wednesday that Reyna will be called into the national team’s March camp for upcoming friendlies against Netherlands and Wales.
“We want our younger players performing, playing at a high level, and he’s doing that,” Berhalter said. “As a result of him doing that, he gets an opportunity with the first team.”
The 17-year-old American has become a regular contributor for Dortmund since the beginning of the new year, making the jump from the club’s U-19 team to the first team, where manager Lucien Favre has used him consistently as a second-half substitute.
Reyna has flourished in that role, recently becoming the youngest American to play in the UEFA Champions League (and recording an assist in the process), and youngest player to score a goal in the DFB Pokal.
“You can see he has rhythm now and he has a good understanding of what the team wants to do,” Berhalter said of Reyna. “And they’re using him in a way where, you know, they’re not asking him to take full responsibility in terms of he doesn’t have to carry a team. He’s playing a role and he’s executing his role.”
Reyna has thrived in a wide role with Dortmund, but has also enjoyed success on the U.S. youth national team level as an attacking midfielder in a central role. Given the USMNT’s need for winger options, Reyna could start out as a wide option.
“I can see him playing as a winger, I can see him playing potentially as a number 10 in a 4-3-3,” Berhalter said. “He can play a number of different positions. I like him being able to affect the game on the offensive side, similar to Christian (Pulisic). They’ve been using them him on the left, he can also play on the right so i think he gives you flexibility.”
Reyna last represented the United States at the Under-17 World Cup last fall after playing a starring role in the U.S. U-17 team’s Concacaf qualifying campaign.
Reyna was included on the preliminary roster for the U.S. Under-23 national team’s upcoming Olympic qualifying tournament, but will miss that tournament, which takes place at the same time as the USMNT March friendlies.
“(Reyna) wouldn’t be released for the Olympic team,” Berhalter said.