Borussia Dortmund kicked off its league schedule on Saturday in winning fashion with American playmaker Giovanni Reyna starring in his first start of the season.
Reyna excelled during the preseason with the Bundesliga side and was rewarded with a start against rivals Borussia Monchengladbach. He also reached an individual milestone in a 3-0 home victory in front of limited fans at Signal Iduna Park, scoring his first Bundesliga goal.
“It’s a really good start to the season,” Reyna said postmatch. “We have a lot of young guys and a great balance of older guys, or veterans, too, so it was a really exciting game. And it was great to have the fans back. To score and help the team makes it even better.”
“I just want to help the team in any way possible. I’m ready to have a bigger role and I think you’ve seen that in the first couple of games. I’ve started both of them. It’s going to be a tough season. Any way I can score goals or get assists is the main way I can help, but also any way to try to win to help the team.”
Reyna needed only 35 minutes to put Dortmund in front, stroking a right-footed shot past veteran keeper Yann Sommer. It was a nice connection between Reyna and fellow youngster Jude Bellingham inside of the box before the American forward did the rest for his first goal of the season.
His performance wasn’t done though as he helped earn the second goalscoring opportunity of the match for Dortmund. Reyna was brought down in the 54th minute for a penalty kick, allowing Erling Haaland to score his first goal of the season.
Reyna was substituted off in the 79th minute with Dortmund leading by three goals, with his work done for the day. He completed 100% of his 29 passes in the match, while winning three duels and making two recoveries.
It was also a strong afternoon for Bellingham, Haaland, and Jadon Sancho in the Dortmund attack, a group that should see more time together in the coming weeks.
“I think it’s so fun to play with guys who are similar to my age in Jude [Bellingham], Jadon and Erling,” Reyna said. “There’s a lot of energy and a lot of excitement for us and for the fans to watch. I think it’s so fun to have all of us together and a really exciting group to have this year. Now we just have to kick on and keep working.”
“When I first found out Jude was coming I was so excited. More for off-the-field reasons to be honest, because there’s a few years difference between me and Jadon and Erling, so to have somebody my age, who’s still a kid who you can have fun with is amazing.”
Reyna’s got several appearances for Dortmund last season and is poised to do more of the same this season. With the club aiming to be competitive in three different competitions, the 17-year-old could be an important piece in the Black and Yellow’s success by season’s end.
Up next for the club is a trip to Augsburg on Sept. 26th in league play before taking on Bayern Munich in the German Super Cup four days later.