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Tyler Adams: Gio Reyna is ready for a USMNT role

Count Tyler Adams among the crowd that thinks Gio Reyna is ready for a role with the U.S. Men’s National Team.

Reyna was bursting onto the scene with Borussia Dortmund and his stock was rising tremendously prior to the world’s pause in play because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Reyna’s performances made much of the discussion regarding him about what kind of role he could have with the USMNT, for which he was set to earn his first call-up this month.

Had the outbreak not forced the Americans to call off their Euro-based camp and friendlies, the 17-year-old Reyna would have been there learning the ropes under head coach Gregg Berhalter. As far as Adams is concerned, Reyna is ready for a prominent role with the USMNT, even though he’s still just 17.

“In my eyes, it’s not based off of age. It can’t be based off of age,” Adams told ESPNFC. “It’s based off of getting your best players into the pool as quickly as possible, getting them experience, and they are only going to be better by 2026. There’s not going to be something that comes out that says, ‘Oh, he played at 17 in the national team but that tarnished his development for 2026 World Cup.’

“It’s only going to make him better, it’s only going to give him more experiences playing at that kind of level. The kid is making it look seamless, receiving the ball in tight spaces against PSG. I’m sure he’s going to be able to receive a ball from one of our players against a top national team.”

USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter expressed his admiration for Reyna’s qualities after revealing he was going to call him in for the scheduled March friendlies, but he also told SBI that he would be patient with how he brought along the youngster.

A German Bundesliga player like Reyna, Adams has been impressed so far with the teenager’s ease with the ball. Reyna has made 11 appearances across all competitions to date with Borussia Dortmund, and has found ways to consistently influence games.

Having a player capable of making that type of impact is a major plus as far as Adams is concerned. The 21-year-old RB Leipzig midfielder thinks the USMNT can benefit that much more from integrating Reyna to a group that already includes talented youngsters like Christian Pulisic and Weston McKennie, and the sooner the better.

“Personally for me you have players like Christian and you have players like Weston, and you have players like Gio who just make everything look so easy,” said Adams. “Those are the players that you just enjoy playing with because you can give them the ball in tough spots and you know he’s going to deal with it. You know he’s going to make things happen, and there’s just a confidence to him, a calm confidence.

“He just goes about his business. He’s not bothered by anything. He’s getting touched, he’s getting fouled, he’s playing through things. Those are the players I like to play with for sure.”


  1. Reyna has shown well in his games with BvB. He’s far from a finished product, but has shown the type of off the ball movement as well as 1 V 1 ability that the USMNT has lacked over the last couple years. And BvB is an excellent place for him to hone his abilities/skills.
    While I’m not advocating for him to be inserted into the starting line-up right now, I see no reason to think he couldn’t be a starter by the end of the summer….if the Euro leagues ever get playing again.

    An attacking corps with Pulisic, Reyna, Sargent Weah, & Morris should have a nice mix technical ability and grittiness to give everyone in CONCACAF headaches. Especially when supported by a midfield containing Adams & McKennie.

    We’re still lacking in experience and there are bound to be some scrappy close games, but as these young players develop their chemistry together we’ll have a strong core of players to build around for the long term.

    • This season wasn’t great for building leadership injuries to Steffen, Pulisic, Weah, and Adams cost them a lot of minutes and now the shut down. The shutdown could also affect transfers of Long, Cannon, and others. Llanez and Ledesma looked to be headed for late season first team minutes which seem likely cancelled. It will be interesting to see which players are able to respond to the long layoff from training.

    • I would not group Weah in with the others. He really hasn’t done much and really more of a marginal prospect. Not sure why there is still so much hype around him. And the few times I’ve watched him, I wasn’t impressed.

  2. I have always wondered how much, the federation may require The bats coach call in MLS players over other foreign based or equally gifted individuals? I would be willing to bet there is some sort of ratio in place. Calling in a few vets over new comers I can kind of understand. But some of the selections that GB and Arena are just puzzling. It doesn’t take a high level coach to see that Zardes,Bradley, Trapp, Roldan etc. have hit their peak and are unable to play at the level required to make the team better. Our youth ranks are swollen with talent That need to start making the transition from the youth squad to the full one sooner than later in order to have any hope of catching up with the top 20 teams

  3. Dest started immediately, no reason to think Reyna couldn’t too. Looking like the NL is unlikely to happen as well given other Summer events have been cancelled.

  4. “In my eyes, it’s not based off of age. It can’t be based off of age,” Adams told ESPNFC. “It’s based off of getting your best players into the pool as quickly as possible, – (key word there is “best”…hmmm)

    “Personally for me you have players like Christian and you have players like Weston, and you have players like Gio who just make everything look so easy,” said Adams. – (strategically named who he would prefer to play with)

    “Those are the players that you just enjoy playing with because you can give them the ball in tough spots and you know he’s going to deal with it. You know he’s going to make things happen, and there’s just a confidence to him, a calm confidence – (in other words the washed out players cant seem to keep the ball, play forward or are hurried off the ball)

    Damn kid, way too mature for your age….I guess you are part of a selected few that KNOW things would be different with players like you, Weston, Gio, Pulisic, Dest, Brooks, Yedlin, Weah, Sargent etc ALL ON THE FIELD. Unfortunately that’s not how the USMNT works, we wish it did but it doesn’t. USMNT believes in washed out players being kept on the team because of these distinctive values:
    1. mediocre mentoring,
    2. mediocre skills
    3. Lack of recent accomplishments being reflected on the young players,
    4. mediocre soccer IQ / mentality
    5. Lack of urgency
    6. Lack of consistency
    7. Lack of Hard work

    Give Darlington Nagbe a call, he’ll fill you in on the rest…lol. In the mean time we will continue to undergo heartache and pain until we either have realistic management or certain players retire from the national team lol

    • Listen to the BSI Podcast Nagbe explains it’s all his family and not wanting to be away from home for a month in January, 10 days each in March, Sept, Oct, and Nov. plus almost a month in June most years. It has nothing to do with your belief he feels undervalued. Even commented it was hard to decision to go play last cycle when he was a locked in starter. When you look at days for MLS players that go for Jan. It’s almost 3 months of the year they are gone not even counting road trips for MLS and CL if their team is in.

      • “Listen to the BSI Podcast Nagbe explains it’s all his family”…..and I agree with you 100% he told Feilhaber, Opara etc it was about family but that’s only because he is not valued hence its a waste of his time (Listen to what Opara said about HIS performance, form and the National team)

        Darlington Nagbe is not going to go on a postcast and bash US soccer / the USMNT (he has never been that kind of guy) but knowing he is one of the best in his craft and only gets called in after there’s an injury to someone in the first 18 (when he knows he should be running the show centrally) is a waste of his time and enough to call “playing for the USMNT as a injury-backup” a job with no purpose.

        Think about it. Why ride pine behind Bradley and Trapp, watch us suck game in game out, when you can have quality time with your daughter instead? Why struggle and put up with all the hardships that come with travel, training etc when you are not valued more than a backup and can use that time to be with your wife/daughter? You do not bring a guy like that in as “replacement player” (especially if Trapp and Bradley are in the line-up), as he should be the backbone of the team and Nagbe knows it. (what happened when Nagbe arrived in Columbus……a franchise player with a USMNT profile to envy was immediately kicked off the club team he had established himself in. You only get rid of a USMNT player if you know what you spent over 1,000,000,000 for is better.

        I strongly believe if the USMNT 1) had Caleb Porter as coach (Hypothetically, so please don’t start saying I want porter to be the new coach of the USMNT, lol) 2) Put enough confidence and responsibility in Nagbe as they did Bradley….even Trapp, he would be suiting up for the USMNT.

        The man is not “the best American player” at what he does in MLS……he is the BEST PLAYER at what he does in MLS, and should not have been treated as “an occasional call-up”

      • There are many ways to read that though. If he’s already decided he wasn’t interested in this cycle and had turned down interest prior to GC why would he come fill in for a one time tournament.
        The thing with Nagbe is that he doesn’t fit Berhalter’s system. If you look deeper at Nagbe’s stats he lead Americans in dribbles per game and his passes attempted per game is pretty far down the list. He’s also 23rd in AccLb among American DMs. He’s good carrying the ball forward but he’s a risk adverse passer, his percentage is good because he holds the ball where others might weigh the risk reward. You are right if Porter was manager he’d be the fit but he’s not. The DM has to be able to hit long diagonal balls between the MF and Backs that’s not what Nagbe does. If you look at American DMs Accurate LB #s in the top 8 are Bradley #2, Yueill #3, Roldan #5,Trap #8. Es also 2nd to last (22) in total tackles for DMs with more than 10 appearances (a little deceiving Atl had a lot of the ball). He was dead last in interceptions. As a line DM in Berhalter’s 4-1-2-2-1 his defending would be a problem. He would have played behind McKennie as an 8 for 3G so not be a first choice makes sense. You can disagree with how 3G wants them to play but it doesn’t really matter because none of us got his job.
        Take Yueill he came to GC camp not on the prelim roster so he knew he wasn’t going to play, by the end of the year he had pushed out Trapp and is in good position to push out Bradley. The idea Teapp and Bradley had unfair locked in spots seems inaccurate.

      • Sorry autocorrect “lone DM” not “line DM”. As much as Bradley and Trapp are criticized for their defense at the international level (and rightly so) their defensive numbers are far better than Nagbe in MLS.

      • With Nagbe available Bradley, Trapp should never see the field period

        He is a midfielder that controls the game and dictates tempo, often starting attacks that end in goals.
        He has the ability to control the ball is largely unmatched by anybody in the United States’ player pool.
        His ability to evade defenders in transition is paramount
        He is most valuable as he receives possession from the back, with his sublime ability to master the ball’s path allowing him to maintain his balance at almost all times.
        He is rarely taken off the ball and his unmatched ability to connect play through the middle third makes him an elite player in both transition and retention
        He is a release valve for pressured teammates
        He is the:
        Best passer in MLS
        Best in Dribbles per game,
        Best in ball possession / retaining the ball

        A DM DOES NOT HAVE to be able to hit long diagonal balls between the MF and Backs…..says who, lol??? Ask Tata Martino if that’s how the game is played. Possession and Passing is what makes a Midfield…..and #6 or #8 he’s one of the best we’ve got.

        #6 has always been a defensive midfielder, a.k.a “the clean-up guy” and is arguably the most important position in football. For most coaches around the world it’s the ‘number 6’ role to link the team together and without one, even the high-quality teams struggle to control a game. He is the player who does the dirty work. He sits in front of the defense, almost always in his own half and breaks up opposition attacks with his tough tackling ways, supreme reading of the game and position awareness. A #6 is usually found in 3-man midfield formations like the 4-3-3 and the 3-5-2/5-3-2. He is the deepest midfielder in a 3-man midfield.

        The #8 is a dynamic position, often considered the most hardworking role, this player has to be ready for action and can play both defensively and offensively, depending on where the ball is. They are responsible for distributing the ball to other players, so it’s vital that they have exceptional ball handling and passing skills. When on the attack, they often take long shots on goal to help the offense. The #8 is given the license to roam, hassle opponents, make runs into the opposition box, work the ball up from defense and link up play. The #8 is what you now call a box-to-box midfielder.

        Can you image Nagbe, McKennie and Adam in the middle!!!!!!

      • I’m not arguing that Nagbe would fit the definition of the roles that you describe. However that’s not how Berhalter lines them up. Your describing a 4-2-1-3 a traditional approach. Berhalter uses a more “new age” approach, in possession the dm drops deep between the CBs forming a 3-4-3. Nagbe’s short passing and dribble game doesn’t fit that, and without a Remedi/Artur type enforcer playing next to him his lack of defensive skill would be a problem. The DM needs to hit quick long balls over the opponents MF. It would be like trying to make Dirk Nowitzki play C like Shaquille O’Neal. Both great players but Shaq’s not shooting pull up fade away jumpers and Dirk wouldn’t be good trying to bull his way in the post.
        I’d much rather see this midfield/winger combo
        Weah- Pulisic—— McKennie- Reyna
        with Llanez, Ledesma, Holmes/Pomykal , Morris and Yueill backing them up.

      • Nagbe doesn’t fit Berhalter’s system??? A system based on playing out of the back???? Nagbe is a defensive liability? And let me guess MB is a defensive destroyer haha.

        hmmm…., lets look at MICHAEL BRADLEY:

        Lacks the speed to close down players or cover holes of players moving forward
        Makes no offensive contribution
        Has no Aerial ability what so ever during corners, set pieces or clearances
        Has no physical strength or stamina
        Lacks as a player defensively
        Lacks the “reactive quickness” to the ball
        Lacks the ability to maintain possession
        Has no dribbling skills to relieve pressure or evade opponents

        Yet he is SOMEHOW what the USMNT needs because he is the only player in history that can supply the long pass Berhalter needs to win games we don’t win anyway…..hahahaha, you can’t make this $hit up!!!!

        To keep it simple Offense, Defense, central…..4-3-3, 4-2-3-1, 3-5-2, “old age or new age approach”, it doesn’t matter what system it is……when it comes to skills, ability and talent or the USMNT’s ability to maintain possession and accurately move the ball around or build from the back and more forward efficiently and effectively…….Nagbe is superior to Bradley hands down bar none

      • “I’d much rather see this midfield/winger combo
        Weah- Pulisic—— McKennie- Reyna
        with Llanez, Ledesma, Holmes/Pomykal , Morris and Yueill backing them up


    • Are you really this narrative driven? Out of all the players you named in your initial comment, who is not a starter? You can say Weah, but its obvious why(injuries), its alao obvioys that many of those players you named CAN’T stay healthy either so.this idea that Greg is somwhow purposely omitting certain players is just dumb when you look at the facts. The facts are GB has had to play certain players that probably wouldnt have gotten real minutes because certain players havent been available to play. Its cute i guess to make boneheaded assertions though. When everyone is healthy thwre will be at most 3 MLS starters, and I’d say thats a good ratio when compared to the european contigent

      • if you are going to make an intrusion at least don’t look like a dumb a$$. Read, comprehend and then reply.

        ” things would be different with players like you, Weston, Gio, Pulisic, Dest, Brooks, Yedlin, Weah, Sargent”
        “PLAYERS LIKE YOU”…..Do you understand what that means???? youth, Quality, Skill, Talent, Level of play, abilities… no Bradley, Trapp, Zardes or Altidore. get it?

        – is used at the end of a list to indicate that FURTHER, SIMILAR items are included. but not listed… its not just the players I listed, use your imagination. lol.

        “….so.this idea that Greg is somehow purposely omitting certain players is just dumb when you look at the facts”
        ……then I guess you are dumb then because even former players of the USMNT have talked about favoritism (read and do some research).

        Look before you leap

    • Have you not been watching during the Berhalter era he wants a Dm that plays quick long balls not what Nagbe does. He’s going to carry the ball forward and as I stated earlier one of they worst American Midfielders defensively 22nd out of 23 he’d be terrible trying to protect the two CBs.

      • “Have you not been watching during the Berhalter era he wants a DM that plays quick long balls”…..haha, Then with the one trick pony we have we are surely doomed!!!

      • Replacing one problem with a different problem doesn’t solve anything. Nagbe will be 30 this Summer if we just going to throw another player with huge flaws into the DM role I’d much rather it be a younger option that could actually develop into a complete player.

      • All I’m saying is that if you want to develop our young talent and leave out all older players…. I support that 100%. but if the USMNT is still involving Bradley on the Team, Nagbe is a better player than him in the middle for the USMNT no matter what the formation, game plan or strategy is. Yes, Nagbe will be 30 but Bradley will be 33 in July….

      • I know Ives listed him in his starting 11 but I’m not sure Berhalter does. How this lay-off affects development or in Bradleys case drop off is yet to be seen? It seems doubtful the NL finals will occur meaning if the Hex starts in September as planned the actual first team won’t have played together in 10 months.

    • Since I think I was one of the very first people to comment on Nagbe’s suitability for the national team some years ago, let me repeat my main points which were valid then and are still valid now. If you want someone to advance the ball from your box to the opponent’s box or to dribble in tight spaces, Nagbe is the best we have, hands down. I have compared him to Dembele at Tottenham. They are very, very similar. They are also one dimensional. Nagbe does that one thing better than any American, but that’s about all he does. He doesn’t score and he has very few assists, almost never making a good penetrating pass. His defense is so-so at best. He is hardly a savior for the USMNT and bizzy greatly overestimates his value. On the other hand, in the past, as his limitations became apparent there were those on this site who then downgraded him and thought he shouldn’t be included. He is valuable as kind of a role player. For some opponents he is very important to have. If we are playing lesser teams, we don’;t need him. I think he is very valuable when we are playing teams like Mexico or even Costa Rica, who have good ball skills and give the US trouble with high pressing. So, you bring him into the team and depending on the opponent and/or the situation, then you play him. You want to have him available, but he’s not automatically a starter, especially with the young players who are coming to the fore now. I would generally start Yuell ahead of Nagbe. Forget Bradley and Trapp and Roldan is only really good for teams less than CR or Mexico and might even have trouble with Honduras.

      • Agree with your breakdown. Nagbe said a couple weeks ago on the BSI podcast he is not planning on returning to the NT because it takes away too much time from his family, from his comments it didn’t really seem to matter how much he would play or not.

    • Tyler was asked to build his perfect USMNT team player using parts of current and past players. He said Soccer IQ of Michael Bradley with really no hesitation.


        1. I call BS Johnnyrazor. He did hesitate on Bradley(51.56) and you can tell he is struggling to come up with answers because he was put on the spot

        2. He said ” Michael Bradley HAS TO BE UP THERE FOR SURE so he surely wasn’t specific (he said John Brooks has the best left foot!!!!). Nice try

        He told Hercules he wants to be a leader in the future …..captain to be exact, playing in the number 6 roles, reading the game and directing teammates. who currently plays that position? so who do you think he will remember for “soccer IQ”

      • Certainly didn’t fit your mediocre soccer IQ narrative you were trying to portray though. But mostly I’m just giving you a hard time. I’ve been going back and watching all the MLS games from this season, watched Crew/Sounders, Nagbe certainly didn’t scream NT to me, but I watched Yueill against MU and that wasn’t much either, almost as if the first couple weeks of a season don’t mean much.

      • ….But let me guess Johnnyrazor, Bradley and Altidore looked dynamic and sharp? Hmmmm…..coming to think about it, I think I see it too…haha

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