After a whirlwind transfer process that concluded with a deal that could make him one of the biggest transfers in MLS history, Bryan Reynolds sounds like a player ready for the next step, and the challenge he will face making the jump into one of Serie A’s best teams.
AS Roma unveiled Reynolds to the media on Monday, ending a hectic chase for his signature this January. The FC Dallas product was linked with moves to Juventus and Club Brugge, but decided on signing with AS Roma, a club known for its history in Italy.
“Me and my family were happy that there were a lot of clubs interested in me,” Reynolds said in his press conference Monday. “But I chose Roma because I think it’s the best choice for me. It was the development plan; going straight to the first-team, training every day with them… I think that was going to be the best choice for my development.”
Reynolds comes to Italy after just one full season of first-team action under his belt, emerging as a starter during the pandemic-hit 2020 MLS season. The 19-year-old jumped into Luchi Gonzalez’s starting right back role following Reggie Cannon’s move to Portugal, and quickly began garnering his own attention from European suitors.
After starting just one match in 2019, Reynolds upped his production to 17 appearances in 2020, registering three assists and showing plenty of promise at the club level.
Reynolds is the latest in an assembly line of talent to emerge from the FC Dallas academy, including Juventus standout Weston McKennie and Bayern Munich defender Chris Richards, who secured his own loan move to Hoffenheim on Monday.
“Weston McKennie has obviously been one of Juventus’ best players this season, he’s really been putting up numbers there,” Reynolds said. “Clubs are starting to sign even young, promising players and I think the secret behind the league growing is that so many young Americans are already playing in Europe now, and I think that is driving the [other] young players to make their dreams come true and pursue a career in Europe.”
“Obviously it will take some time to adapt to such a high level like Serie A and a big club like Roma, but I don’t think I will have a problem with that. It is going to be my objective to make sure I adapt, that will be my focus. My goal is to play for the club and I do believe that I should make at least a few appearances before the end of the season.”
Reynolds comes from an attacking system in Dallas to a new system at Roma under manager Paulo Fonseca. Roma has been one of the top offensive teams so far in Serie A, scoring the third-most goals in Serie A play (44).
With new tactical ideas to learn, Reynolds has already begun the process of learning what his new team brings to the table and what to expect from them going forward.
“Luckily enough I was able to watch the game yesterday against Verona,” Reynolds said. “Scoring three goals in any match is obviously big, but the thing I like the most is that they are trying to dominate the game, dominate the ball and make quick transitions and win the ball back quickly when they lose it. I think that’s what struck me most about the game yesterday.”
AS Roma continues its league schedule on Saturday against Juventus.