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Jermaine Jones hails ‘fantastic’ Gio Reyna


Giovanni Reyna may be one of the youngest attacking players in the Bundesliga this season, but it hasn’t stopped him from impressing in the early stages of the new campaign.

Reyna continues to earn minutes in Lucien Favre’s squad with Dortmund continuing play in three different competitions. The 17-year-old has also surpassed his statistics already from last season with two goals and five assists to his name so far in eight appearances.

Like many other U.S. Men’s National Team teammates in the Bundesliga, Reyna has caught the eye of a former Bundesliga and USMNT player.

“I think he’s [Gio] fantastic, if you see his development in the game as a young player – especially at a club like Dortmund,” Jermaine Jones said in an interview with” A lot of people forget about the pressure he had.”

“Before it was [Christian] Pulisic and he was amazing too, and then he went to Chelsea. Reyna got developed and started coming in and playing fantastically. As a result, you can see how much talent we really have in the United States.”

After breaking onto the scene with Dortmund in January, Reyna has since remained in the first team despite several top attacking options for Favre to call on. Erling Haaland, Marco Reus, Thorgan Hazard, and Jude Bellingham are just a few of the attacking players in the Dortmund ranks, but Reyna has continued to get opportunities this season.

Tyler Adams, Josh Sargent, and Chris Richards are additional young players who are getting their chances with their Bundesliga teams as well, but Reyna seems to be the one that is garnering the most attention over the past year.

“I would say that for now, a lot of people talk about Reyna,” Jones said. “In general though, I don’t like to pull people out and say ‘he is the special one’ or something. All three have their strong moments in games and have the opportunity to help the national team in America. I think they’re playing a big part in developing United States Soccer.”

Reyna has yet to make his debut for the USMNT due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but could get his opportunity this November in friendly play. Gregg Berhalter’s side will face Wales in Swansea on Nov. 12th and due to Reyna’s strong start to the new campaign, he could get his first senior call-up by Berhalter later this Fall.


  1. We have the makings of what could be a “Golden Generation” with Pulisic, Reyna, Adams, McKennie, & Dest. All 5 have proven themselves to be top shelf players at the club level, and while not all have 100% proven themselves at the international level, they are well positioned to carry their club quality forward into the USMNT.
    The next wave of players are working their way towards proving themselves. Guys like Sargent, Weah, Uli, Richards, A. Robinson, Konrad, Cardoso, Cannon, etc… They’re progressing well and have every opportunity to be successful.
    Rounding out the pool for this generation, are a group that may no longer be the brightest stars but could be excellent roll players. Players like CCV, EPB, Aaronson, Sands, Pomykal, M. Robinson, Durkin, etc…

    We’ve progressed beyond the point where a player is a candidate for a call-up strictly due to what club they play for. We now require them to actually be getting serious minutes at their clubs, and are inching closer to taking only those who are producing.
    The exception to this right now seems to revolve around the MLS players. Bradley’s play for club & country has been dropping significantly over the past 2 yrs. Roldan, while good for club has been crap the National Team. Long’s performances for club have dropped below where it can be overlooked, but we haven’t had an opportunity to see if Gregg will leave him off the roster. Lovitz, Trapp, and others who’ve been tried now look to be on the scrap heap (thankfully), but it’s yet to be seen if Gregg will move on from the others.
    Things are progressing well at the development of the overall player pool. Now I’m just hoping that USSF will support the players by insuring they hold the coaching staff to the same progressive standards that we’re holding players to.

    • Bradley is done, Trapp is done, Lovitz is done. Roldan probably has a place because he’s apparently an incredible teammate as in knows where and what everyone is supposed to be doing and helps is able to communicate that with his teammates in away they appreciate. He also can play multiple positions. He’s just not good enough beyond the GC group stage level. That being said if Adams and Holmes are fit for the last GC he doesn’t make the roster and now with Reyna that’s another rung down the roster he moves. Aaronson has likely moved past him as well.
      We make roster selection out to be simply picking the best 23 and playing them how they play with their club. They really would be impossible to do with our pool. Take the Pulisic-Sargent-Morris, Reyna-Wes,Adams #6, ARob-Brooks-Richards-Dest dream 11. Everything looks great except Reyna doesn’t play as a #10 behind a front 3 for BvB he is part of the front three. Now in the US 11 he has to be a ball winner instead of the annoying the FB into a mistake. Also how do get your 3-4-3 build out phase can’t have Arob or Dest stay home limits their usefulness Adams stuck deep isn’t what he does best. Ok, we drop Morris move Reyna wide cutting in with Dest overlapping, everything is beautiful, slide Adams up letting he and McKennie boss the midfield but that means Yeuill has to play #6, or Adams stays deep and Lletget or Aaronson ? comes in but can they counter press well enough with Wes? Do all managers make some head scratchers sure (Lovitz, Zusi, Brad Davis, Bernstein, one legged Reyna followed by Olsen, Agoos) but it’s a lot harder than we make it out to be.

      • i think you are confusing “should be done” with “actually done.” in reality ream brooks were still starting for canada game 2, and ream lovitz roldan yedlin started cuba game 2. for canada game 1 we saw bradley ream lovitz yedlin roldan. and the story was bradley was hurt for the “return” games. many of these players were also starters or used bench for the mexico gold cup final. one can hope that GB omits them all but that’s not reflected in his lineups and selections yet — the reason i criticize him routinely. and i get some amusement that you drift towards diagnosing a problem list of some half dozen or more players while pretending there is no room to even dress and trial the guys i suggest. perhaps you have not been fully un-brainwashed from GB — you get he’s making mistakes but then support his negative implication exclusion of the potential replacements. at least one way of “making me happy” is — setting aside my argument playing pulisic or steffen again is “reproving the obvious” and a waste of time — just give us the several slots occupied by people who no one rates, who only this coach would call, and let’s try some other people. god forbid we had actual roster competition for even so much as the most annoying players out there.

        fwiw i would place the backup keepers, jozy, zardes, arriola, miazga, baird, boyd, brooks, and morales on the same thin ice and rotate them with prospects as we determine who can actually play and who can’t. i think the actual list of untouchables is very short. but when i propose new trialists or returned veterans we suddenly implicitly act like a long list of rosterees must be superior solely because they are getting caps lately. that begs the question. even your short list of disappointments much less my longer version would get you to like half a team or more that needs to sing more for its supper and be rotated with prospects who can eat their lunch if they outplay them.

    • i think your first three are right. Pulisic is a no doubter and i think reyna turns out to be one as well. i also was impressed with adams when he was healthy, and assuming he’s past that, he’d be a great help at 6. the rest, though, i am not sure about.

      i think a lot of the “they’re progressing” set you listed, while not necessarily pulisic’s level, should be regulars in the NT 23 as opposed to the U23s. richards i think has that potential based on U20 and bayern.

      others i am not so sure on. CCV i think can mark but he’s a pure defender, not some slick guy, and we have a thing for club snobbery now. sargent it’s a question of if the fitness and foot speed can catch up to the technique (a lot of mckennie’s goals last year were crosses sargent couldn’t get to). i think steffen could join them if he got his crap together and played like his upside suggests — but he is inconsistent, particularly since he moved abroad. weah had a NT goal in 2018 but probably needs a more solid career foundation with this coach picking. mckennie, while occasionally great, is not as consistently effective, and lacks a position to date. dest was never the best U20 defender and people seem to have already forgotten his “meg” problem.

      so i think the “sure thing” list is shorter than you suggest. i think we have a lot of “upside” or “untested” people and would like to see them more in friendlies so we can start sorting who can play now and who’s not ready. i also hope when they do get involved we pay more attention to who plays well. there feels like too much of a pro status quo attitude where we assume players inside the tent are better even if they had off games when they got their chance, just because they got capped first. for example, some people talk up dest higher than richards. that is not backed by how they looked on U20, or what i think the scouts would have said. that is not the order in which their resumes would be compared in europe — richards is at bayern, which trounced barca. it is only one guy threw a fit in 2019, threatened to play for holland, and got capped first. there is a little bit of that incumbency/status quo bias and lack of attention to performance. we’re not very objective and we lose sight very easily of who we would have thought the best prospects were as of just last year. so i think incumbency rights should be limited to the very short list i started with and everyone else should be in a mosh pit where they have to prove they are better than the jillion other prospects we have coming up in this bubble at the same spot.

      • Just went by what I’ve seen the public interested in seeing across multiple platforms. I’m not sure that would be my eleven.
        We’ve seen Berhalter move away from Trapp, he’s played in 1 of the last 10. Bradley has aged significantly since we last saw him, a game in which he was out paced over and over again. Lovitz wasn’t called in January and did not play in the Canada return. What he offers is a stay at home FB and we don’t have many of those. He still stinks, I’d rather play Gasper there and tell him to stay home than Lovitz. Of course all that goes out the window if we have 4 or 5 injured regulars from the 23.

  2. Wait did you just say we should ignore his U17 performance because of his performance with his club. Oh the club snobbery! All that matters is how he does in the shirt apparently unless you like that player in which case only his club performance matters. I really hope Gio doesn’t miss a Wondo like sitter in his NT debut because your spine might snap from all the flip flopping you’d try to do.
    No one thinks the team is on an upswing just because of one player, they just value players you don’t.

    • i think you are confusing the “U17 team’s” performance with “Reyna’s.” that was the verdict of the long list of scouts who put him on several “best players under _____ in the world” lists. i also think you are confusing that for a scouted player, he has no senior team track record to dissect. all we can look at is club or YNT, which are not the same. for someone like brooks, he has a NT track record. what happens there is you argue despite what we all saw for senior NT, ignore that, try him on senior NT some more, haven’t you noticed where he plays club. the difference is reyna hasn’t gotten his chance yet. i am not entitling reyna to anything — though i think based on club he will impress. he still has to do the NT job when given the chance. you think that’s the same as brooks but for brooks you are making excuses for a disappointment by noting club stuff like he is some U20 we just scouted. once you have a track record at the pertinent NT level, that replaces me scouting you at club. you can either do the job or not. it might be an argument that a wilderness player should return — but you ignore that he has actually been pastured and then brought back a couple times. arena and then sarachan were unimpressed. so on him and those like him, it’s how often are you going to ignore their NT history and act like they should be scouted like a kid again, like they get to ride on rep even if the rep doesn’t translate — and funny that you mention wondo there because that’s the epitome of someone who dined out on MLS goals when anyone could see he didn’t do that for us. the contrast is we don’t yet know whether that is true for reyna — and based on his pedigree and highlights i think only an idiot would suggest they are truly likely to end up in the same disappointment pile.

    • no, what they “value” is the same precise players the coach can’t win with. you pretend they have “identified” different people but it’s basically a status quo, “berhalter is right” knee jerk reflex posing as analysis. by the same people who then can list several berhalter mistakes in their more honest moments. but then tell me there is no room for the people i point out — some of whom have many caps and goals for the team already, others who are the prized prospects of the last U20 cycle and were generally esteemed above dest. the pro dest thing is amusing, his agent is a skilled publicist and you all fall for it. he is an interesting player but every bit as glitchy as an adult as he was against ukraine U20. the real question is do you have the courage to stick with the consensus best U20 prospects or are you going to back this dest and aaronson bit where we just toss out who made the U20 team or didn’t, or who shown brighter or lower at the tournament. you’re not rating them different. you’re tracking the coach and making excuses for them both. that’s not scouting. that’s boarding the bandwagon as it is already leaving. you will bandwagon my players — but only after they get GB’s stamp or become so obvious a non soccer fan could see them on sportscenter. whoop de do.

      • The only person even within a shout of being more esteemed from the U20 squad than Dest is Richards. But you are going by where they were in June of 2019. It really isn’t fair to compare the two as Richards is a true CB who is serviceable at RB. The fact that Dest had offers from Bayern, PSG, and Barca shows he is very well esteemed. You don’t have to rate him but to deny that most of the rest of the soccer world does is fiction.

      • wrong. i rated soto richards weah higher than dest, who cost them the ukraine game. heck, i see more usefulness in mendez or llanez, because attacking is their stock in trade. mendez in particular could take free kicks and hit long shots when we need them. whereas dest is being cast against type. “a defender that attacks — ignore how he plays defense though.” i am more impressed by the ones good at their primary job. i rated him like 6th or 7th best on U20 in terms of performance. i am amused how we went right past the first few to him and then aaronson who got cut.

    • That’s what I said we know you don’t rate Dest, but the rest of the soccer world does so to say others were “generally esteemed” to be better isn’t true.

      • “isn’t true?” bull. richards and reyna and weah have made “best of” lists. dest didn’t. dest’s buzz has come after the fact as he bootstraps his way to the publicity worthy of the better players, and skips ahead of them in the queue.

  3. josh sargent is a work in progress and may or may not flourish into the elite 9 people hope. i think he’s a skilled sniper but needs some fitness and foot speed. but on the rest the difference between reyna and adams or richards is just fanboy fashion. once capped they are all good players who showed well as YNT and have club pedigrees. fanboys seem to only get integrating one new shiny toy at a time. the reality is if the coach was willing to take risks we would have several upgraded shiny toys around. but in our push to be taken seriously we seem more concerned about individual hype trains as opposed to maximizing the XI and 23 like an actual soccer team, which involves maximizing the non pulisic/reyna cast as well. a lot more of our 2022 fate has to do with whether zardes, bradley, and the backline remain intact as opposed to does reyna come in and dominate — which will definitely help — but only win with 10 other guys. if richards, adams, holmes, wood, green, horvath etc get sandbagged reyna alone won’t fix much.

    • Willing to take risks? Sandbagged? Listen, to this point not only has GB brought in a different youth player to each camp, sometimes more than one, but he’s also not sandbagged anyone. Richards was still with the 23’s before COVID-19, Green has been injured like everyone else(Adams, Weah CP, etc), Duane Holmes also got injured in the Gold Cup camp, Bobby Wood has an APB out on him bc no ones seen him in over a season and Ethan Horvath just got his first 2 starts at club level for the first time in almost 2 seasons, so this idea that players have been overlooked continues to puzzle me and continues with this narrative that doesn’t actually exist in real life!

    • The difference would be Richards made 2 appearances and has since been relegated back to 3Liga. His team purchased a new player at the position he seemed slotted for. In his one start the best team in the world needed a stoppage time goal to beat the 15th placed team. To name him in the same sentence as Reyna and Adams is the definition of “fanboy”. I like Richards, I was promoting him 2 years ago when he trialed at Bayern and almost instantly joined the first team on tour and played well but he hasn’t accomplished anything at the club level compared to Reyna, the first choice #10 for a CL club, and Adams a regular for a CL semi-finalist.

    • Wuz up with this fanboy stuff? Weren’t you just as excited about Reyna being integrated into the senior team even though he & the U17s bombed out of the Youth WC? Take Reggie Cannon, for example, there was an FC Dallas fan, that wanted him on the GC roster, and let everyone know how good he is. An injury happened , he was added, fought his way into being a USMNT starter, and is playing in Portugal. Goalies get scored on, shotblockers get dunked on, and fullbacks & CBS get shooked. I don’t think having your ankles broke warrants “a loser mentality!” GB isn’t a risk taker, but this generation is!!! O, I almost forgot, the back 3 vs France, was Tim Parker, Miazga, CCV, w/ EPB coming in as a sub, when Matt got his wig split.

      • make fun all you want but the difference is some of the france and mexico 2018 guys, ummm, what’s the word……mark people. CCV may foul a lot. but he’s not getting dribbled for goals. i ran some numbers about a year ago and you could see where the snob resume favorites tended to allow 1-3 goals per outing — i think brooks’ average is like 2.5 gaa (he is associated with many of the nasty blowouts in recent years, eg, costa rica, colombia) — while a particular list of specialist defenders were stingier. you can mock them but that’s really a question of taste. you don’t care if your defenders can defend — i do. i therefore prize players you may see as offensive clods or foulers. i think as long as we hype hype hype attacking prowess — which to be fair, i want reyna around, i want offense — to the exclusion of actual defense, we will continue to struggle. i am for including defenders who might get us france or mexico results. i am against the naive crap that gets us 2 goals on colombia but the defense sucks and we lose 4-2. you realize defense is half the game, right?

    • I would argue any player under the age of 23 is a work in progress. Everyone expects (or hopes) they will grow and improve, but they may never be any better than they are now. Perhaps due to injury, or that early maturity made them look better than they really are, or maybe any of the intangible factors that can limit a player.

      That said some of the guys mentioned like Pulisic, McKennie, Adams and Reyna are very good now, even without the expected growth.

      You can argue that Green, Wood, CCV, like Adu have failed to grow as players like was once hoped.

      • I believe some players progress over time — Dempsey. I think most excellent players come out of the junior “womb” fairly fully formed — Landon, Beasley, Dolo, Pope, etc. I actually see Reyna as the latter. I have been touting him since last summer — months before covid excused his exclusion. My issue is I feel like at some point we became obsessed with hyping the very best new players at the expense of broader team building. Pulisic alone, no matter how many fawning articles people write, can’t do it. Reyna plus Pulisic isn’t enough either. I wish people paid more attention to #3-23 as they do to the obvious ones. And I wish that the eagerness for performance implicit in fawning over the best players went down to the last guy allowed to dress. Re your U23 point, I actually think for players who turn pro at 18 the decisive juncture is closer to 20. At that point they should either be fitting into Europe or headed back home for playing time. I like “gamers” who do things in games. I am bored with all the resume players we have who don’t do it in games. And I worry that fanboying players with hit and miss track records, “that they aren’t yet matured as players,” can end up as making excuses for a career. People get me confused. I am for experimenting in friendlies. I am for playing the ones who perform in qualifiers. The problem I see is players are not held to a performance standard to make lineups. And I am amused at the contradiction where y’all are like simultaneously making excuses for glitchy players while telling me I am crazy for suggesting alternatives. I get protecting immaculate players from constant roster pressure and performance demand. We have like 2-3 of those. Beyond that we have about 20 guys who might play well Tuesday and bad Saturday. At a loss how that earns you an incumbency shield against any pressure from the Richards of the world.

      • to be clear, my concern is it takes 11 men, y’all are months behind me on reyna, and the current hype train has a capacity of about one player a year. at that rate we’ll bring in a team worth of player by the time they are ready to retire in year 11. yes, reyna, like i said last summer. you need to move a little faster onto the next one and next one because this is a young team and foot dragging only delays the process. it’s amusing listening to the people who gave me grief on reyna catching up to that one and giving me what for when i am telling them move on to a, b, and c also. try just listening to my ideas now that you adopt half a year later.

      • i am looking forward to the coming era when we have so many good players at decent clubs that all the resume crap cancels out and people watch how they actually play for a change. for example, dest vs richards. cannot be settled by just tossing barca down on the table. oh, bayern isn’t better? so negate out the resumes and who can actually play??

      • i didn’t discover him but i was pimping his involvement when y’all were still skeptical. off U19 dortmund footage. i took crap because “no first team minutes,” because some fans can’t identify talent for themselves, the coach has to stamp approval for them. few months later he’s first team and y’all are on board. it’s absurd. same thing happened to sargent. he had 3 NT goals and GB wanted to send him back with the U23s “because first team playing time.” he then got the first team playing time and had 3 more goals in the fall once he met the arbitrary criteria. like he didn’t already have a track record plus talent. quit looking at spreadsheets. watch them play.

    • Not sure ifI have seen anyone doing it but… a comparison of Dest v. Richards certainly can not be settled w/ tossing Barca or Bayern Munich on the table… It certainly can and should in taking a look at both their history in game performance. Not sure why we are comparing the 2 in the first place but it is hard to argue Richards ( who I am a fan of BTW) 2 games w/ Bayern Munich compares to Dest’s extensive history w/ Ajax, including CL and now 2 solid games while still adjusting to life w/ Barcelona. I am pumped to have both, look forward to seeing their futures, but Dest’s pro career is further along at this point.

      • what you’re missing is that one kid started at the weaker ajax team and the other apprentices at probably the current best team in the world. bayern. that poses a different challenge in terms of making the team. dest only this year moved up to anywhere near the level richards is already at. what is basically happening is with teenage kids or 20 year olds people are making arbitrary distinctions based on where their career is, as though it says something about quality. to me i think they have it precisely backwards. someone who signs at the union has an easier path to a lineup than someone at bayern. to treat the union kid as proving he is better by starting at union first is absurd and likely to get the actual quality question precisely backwards. furthermore, you are trading in a myth, landon, green, morris, plenty of history of college or big club age group kids coming in able to (a) handle NT play and shine and also (b) outshine people getting club playing time in lesser teams/lesser leagues. it’s a lame argument that i thought wondo and twellman put to bed decades ago. club ball does not equal NT ball. a youth prospect in a tough system or a bench player abroad can in fact be more productive than a MLS starter sometimes. and i am not suggesting this for just anyone. i am saying treat the elite few prospects we all thought were awesome for U20 JUST LAST SUMMER like they are probably still better than their teammates who just happened to trip into club playing time faster — for weaker club teams.

    • No…. I am not missing that at all, just reaffirming your own previous call to emphasize what happens in actual games. Let’s say it a wash with the very recent history and limited sample of Dest’s 2 games at Barcelona and Richards 2 games at Bayern Munich. What are we left for Richards in comparison to Dest’s game performance with a very talented Ajax team that went deep into CL? Again- no knock on Richards who I love as a player. Just saying his career isn’t as far along.

      • what you miss is Dest has a NT track record that is sketchy already. richards was esteemed above him on the same YNT but hasn’t had a cap. so what you’re trying to do is rehabilitate a player who screwed up for the Nats — at the expense of a superior youth talent — by repeating his club situation every time he messes up. and richards now playing for a team with a superior european and domestic record somehow gives you no cognitive dissonance. and you oddly having seen what dest does for the nats want me to ignore it in service of repeating like a mantra who made it there first. so what. he wasn’t pulisic-impeccable when he did. so how about try out instead the one who hasn’t embarrassed himself against mexico, and who most of us thought was better to begin with???? and who now that he is first team also, has the more impressive resume???

      • what bores me about the current snob fetish for form and week by week stuff is you miss the big picture. when reyna or richards break a lineup that means something different than dest at ajax or aaronson at the union. and based on YNT performance that is not mere club snobbery because they bore it out on the U20 field. you’re then wanting to like tell me who was leading the horse race at the first post when they probably ultimately lose the race at the finish. that’s not “talent.” that’s reading a spreadsheet of where they are this week. it’d be different if they are 25 but the whole deal is few options for this national team are going to be prime age and productive in club. everyone is trying to get a career going and find their level. assuming the ones who find their level faster are the better ones doesn’t scientifically follow.

      • i’ve also said before i rate NT “performance” more important than club. you’re trying to distort that as me pimping club form since i like “performance” when what i have said before is the two do not equate. that sometimes people who are at good clubs or even are productive in club cannot translate.

      • I like this thread!

        I’m with TIV on this one. I have consistently been frustrated that GB keeps trotting out guys who have never in all their years of tape/evaluation had high level moments or consistent impact on games like the youngins (even with their limited game time and early career foibles). It’s way past time for some of these cats to be put out to pasture and give the kids their chances. Also in my brain the Dempsey’s of the world are few and far from normalized cases. Not many 1. get started, 2. make the move later and 3. keep developing over the ages of 24-29. It just doesn’t happen that often. More likely is the 1. turn pro at 18-20, 2. spot starter/squad player at 20-23 and 3. regular contributor from 23-29.

        Crazy enough this has been the pattern for most national teams and their prospect pipelines in most countries over the last 30 years. It seems that we have not had many viable prospects that meet those stages so we had to 1. choose older players who had more resume and 2. hold them longer expecting development in their more “mature” years. Based on the kids I see and the training/exposure they are getting now, we are well past that point and our systems of evaluation and integration need to catch up BADLY.

      • Seems you’re all over the map and inconsistent applying your own criteria dependent on who you want to boost or slag. You have a habit of using the phrase- “you forget” just prior to moving your own goalposts 🙂 Trying to compare game experience with the Union to Ajax- a VERY skilled Ajax team is rather misleading. Particularly the included CL games in which Ajax excelled and Dest showed well vs World Class talent. Let’s have this discussion at the end of the year and see whether it is Dest who has more in game experience or Richards. Anyhow…. all this aside- I agree with many of your statements- just find it curious you use Dest and Richards as examples. Both players have earned call-ups within the talent pool and I rather suspect that will be the case next go around. Cheers

      • i’m not all over the map. i rate in the following order. (1) performance with the national team. i am more a NT fan than a euro club fan, and the NT is a controlled location and where i want to see them perform. so rather than use proxies like club form, cut the crap and how did they play for the NT. to be clear, sometimes it surprises who does and doesn’t work out. some MLS grinders keep grinding at NT level. some foreign based hype guys are useless. (2) but not everyone has a track record, so if you don’t have caps, how do you play at club. but only if you don’t have caps. otherwise you are telling me as a NT fan to ignore how they play for the NT and pretend they are improved based on club. (3) but some kids don’t have a bunch of club stats and tape. ok, for them, how do they look in age group, and also are they seen as the elite prospects of their cohort. to me it’s nuts that i am seeing aaronson before reyna or weah or mendez or a list of U20 prized prospects, just because he has more tape. that’s backwards. that’s what happens when theoretical club form — and it doesn’t even have to be that good based on aaronson having just a few goals and assists a season — puts you ahead of the players who got you cut for U20. like i said, am i supposed to ignore that when we picked a traveling team to worlds just last year, who rated where to the pipeline coaches??? at that point why even have ODP or youth national teams. we’re already blowing up bradenton that used to be our elite player supplier. screw it, let’s just throw out youth ball through age 18-20 and pick based on pro stats. and that couldn’t possibly make it easier on players who slum in USL or MLS or random league instead of make the most serious and competitive career choices? cause to me i want the kid who emerges from top team bayern after a competition more than i want someone who went on loan to carolina or something to get minutes. the minutes don’t mean the same thing. and more bluntly we usually are demanding production from those minutes anyway. it would be one thing if some kid lit it up. but they rarely do — like pulisic. so most of the time it’s going to be a tough job of how do i compare a kid at bayern II vs telstar first team on loan vs the union. to me if the system is set up to value most the union kid you are likely to select backwards from what talent actually is.

      • to be clear, “reyna weah soto richards” is not all over the map in practical terms. it was the definitive takeaway of U17 and U20 world cups in 2019 for most experts. i am just saying dance with who brung ya there. and what to me is all over the map is grabbing random prospects from random teams ahead of them based on subjective and misguided ideas of where their careers are just a year out from that tournament. i could get if someone was a 15 goal veteran MLS dude. yes, maybe he presents a more matured soccer resume. but we’re making lame distinctions among players at the start of their career. “oh, he’s starting for club already.” and then two weeks later they player they were dissing as struggling has a brace in holland. it’s fake and myopic. that analysis is better for 25 year olds who better have their crap together. it’s not how to identify the best 20 year old players on a team that should be mostly composed of people that age. that involves some guesswork as to how ajax compares to union compares to telstar compares to bayern 2, and whether the player on bayern 2 today is on bayern tomorrow. to me klinsi was better attuned to where players were headed tomorrow and berhalter lags behind the facts, basically lets the club coach tell him who to rate.

  4. I think the spine of the team is critical and we have 3 locked in central mids who all play different, complimenting roles, then add Richards as 1 cb. When healthy, those guys can lock in 4 of those 5 spots for the next 10-12 years.


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