The U.S. Men’s National Team has yet to announce a schedule for this Fall, but once it does head coach Gregg Berhalter has plenty of decisions to make for the roster.
Two players on the radar of Berhalter and his coaching staff are Borussia Dortmund forward Giovanni Reyna and Bayern Munich defender Chris Richards, whom are currently continuing their developments overseas. Both players are under 21-years-old and have represented U.S. Youth National Team in the past, but are now knocking on the door of the senior team.
The 17-year-old Reyna broke into Dortmund’s first team in January and was scheduled to make his USMNT debut last Spring before the pandemic forced international friendlies against the Netherlands and Wales to be postponed. After impressing with the Bundesliga side and helping it finish as runners-up behind eventual winners Bayern Munich, Reyna is expected to get a chance with the USMNT once play is determined and set to resume.
“Gio hasn’t played an A-level international match yet only because our friendlies against Holland and Wales in March were canceled on account of the coronavirus pandemic,” Berhalter said in an interview with German outlet Bild. “He’ll get a chance in our next international match, that’s very clear. Reyna has a fantastic mentality. He’s still a teenager but plays like an old hand..at BVB he now has a great chance of starting a great career.”
Reyna, 17, scored one goal and added one assist for Lucien Favre’s team last season, debuting in three different competitions. The young and exciting forward has also risen through the ranks of U.S. Soccer, scoring 15 goals in 32 combined appearances for the Under-17, U-16, and U-15 teams. He will look to join an attack which features Christian Pulisic, Josh Sargent, and Weston McKennie.
The 20-year-old Richards also made his Bundesliga debut last season for eventual treble winners Bayern, but saw most of his playing time come with Bayern’s U-23 team. Richards made 30 combined appearances for Bayern II, scoring four goals and ultimately helping them win the 3. Liga title despite not being able to earn promotion.
Richards is one of many defensive prospects waiting in the wings at Bayern, but also for the USMNT. A former U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team player, Richards is also eligible for a senior call-up later this year and Berhalter has remained to keep watch on his rise with the German giants.
“Of course I also am keeping an eye on him. Chris is one of our central defenders for the future,” Berhalter said. “I’m very happy with his development, and I think the cooperation and the regular communication between us as an American association and FC Bayern is outstanding.”
“We are trying to develop a great player from a great talent together. Bayern has a plan with Chris, he has optimal conditions in Munich, and he’s receiving competitive experience. He will raise his already strong level even further in the new season.”
Both players will kick off their respective Bundesliga schedules on the weekend of Sept. 19th. Bayern Munich takes on Schalke in the opening game of the weekend while Borussia Dortmund hosts rivals Borussia Monchengladbach the next day.