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Bryan Reynolds ready to build off early experiences with AS Roma, USMNT


Bryan Reynolds became one of the newest American players to make the move to a top-five European league last season and although he didn’t rack up tons of minutes for Italian club AS Roma, he did get a first taste of what’s to come for him abroad.

Reynolds joined Roma in early February on a six-month loan from MLS club FC Dallas, becoming the latest U.S. Men’s National Team player to embark to Europe. The former FC Dallas Homegrown defender joined a Roma side, who was fighting for a top-four finish in Italy’s top flight, and featured many experienced stars in its squad.

The 19-year-old teamed up with Edin Dzeko, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Pedro, and others, to help Roma finish in seventh place to earn a spot in the inaugural Europa Conference League playoffs. Reynolds is still working on improving relationships with plenty of his teammates in Rome, but feels comfortable after logging his first four months at the club.

“The first day I saw [Edin] Dzeko, [Henrikh] Mkhitaryan, Pedro and I thought, ‘Wow, I’m really training with these players now. They are my teammates.’ I didn’t act like I was a fan of course, I tried to behave normally,” Reynolds said in an interview for the club’s website. “I was very happy to be here and to have this opportunity.”

Reynolds waited over one month to make his debut for Roma, playing the final 30 minutes in an eventual 2-0 loss on the road at Parma. The right back later made his USMNT debut in a 2-1 win over Northern Ireland in late March before returning to action with Roma with back-to-back starts against Bologna and Torino in mid-April.

With Roma fighting to finish in a European qualification spot, Reynolds had to wait for his final two appearances of the season in May against Crotone and Spezia. Reynolds finished his half season with 283 minutes under his belt and valuable experience working with several top players in the Roma squad.

Reynolds still has a few months to go for the new Serie A season to begin, but still remembers his debut like it was yesterday.

“I thought I could make my debut, since I had been called up [to the match day squad],” Reynolds said. “But then we were at a disadvantage, so I wasn’t convinced I was going to play. But in the end I got in. At half-time I was told to go out and start warming up. There I thought I could really get in, I thought my time might come.

“Then it came, I heard my name being called and I thought, ‘Just a year and a half ago I was playing in the American lower leagues’,” Reynolds said. “And now I was about to make my debut in Serie A. When I joined I was a bit nervous, but I was happy to make my debut and grow with the performance, to be able to continue training every day to grow and improve.”

Not only has Reynolds showed promising moments at club level, but he’s also forced himself into the discussion for a key role in Gregg Berhalter’s USMNT squad. Reynolds totaled 24 combined appearances between three of the U.S. Youth National Teams before earning his senior debut in March in Belfast.

He is one of several options at right back in Berhalter’s squad, joining Sergino Dest, DeAndre Yedlin, and Reggie Cannon. Reynolds was not selected in the preliminary roster for the upcoming Concacaf Gold Cup, but could be back in contention for World Cup Qualifying this Fall.

Reynolds’ rapid rise at club level has also helped him on the international stage, something he believes is a major stepping stone for his future.

“I warmed up and there was a chance to enter the match so I was ready,” Reynolds said about his USMNT debut. “We went back to the locker room and listened to the coach’s speech. The trainer told me to slow down myself, which was fine. And then, two minutes before the start of the second half, he told me I was going in. I put on my uniform, shin guards and went inside.”

“I had always watched the national team when I was little and also when I was playing in the MLS. Making my debut with the national team is a very important milestone for me.”

Reynolds is enjoying his summer break for now, but the hard work of preparing for a new Serie A season is right around the corner. Legendary manager Jose Mourinho will be at the helm for the historic club this season, looking to get Roma back in Champions League Football and contending for domestic trophies in both league and cup competitions.

After working this hard to get his chance in Europe, Reynolds is ready to continue his development with hopes of being ready for whatever this new season throws at him.

“Moving from MLS to Serie A is obviously a big leap,” Reynolds said. “Of course I want to play, but I also want to be ready. I don’t want to be thrown into the fray and be caught unprepared. I work hard every day and from the next preparation I want to push as much as possible.”


  1. A promising beginning. My concern is that Mourinho doesn’t seem to favor young players so much, but that’s just my impression. The manager’s defense first philosophy is probably good place for for a young defender however.

    • Mourinho being the coach may slow Reynold’s rise, but may ultimately help him become a better player in the long run. The good news is that we have the time to allow him to develop.
      To challenge for a spot in the US 23 he’ll eventually have to overtake Yedlin & Cannon…both favorites of Gregg, while possibly fending off other young prospects who’ve made the transition to Europe. We have moved beyond the point where just being on a good clubs roster was enough to make the squad. Now players have to be playing and performing for their clubs.

      • I agree with both of you, and I’m curious to see how things unfold in view of those factors. I tend to think it’s going to help his growth in the long run. I might feel differently if he were a striker.

      • sorry beg to differ. i think “club form” is deployed against non regular players eg horvath weah green. i don’t think he cares as much about “club form” if you are a regular eg steffen yeuill. personally i think once you have cap history it confuses which team’s performance we should care about. talent is talent. NT performance is NT performance. yedlin brooks and others shouldn’t come back into the fold after bad NT games because club goes well. conversely people with histories of good games in the shirt shouldn’t slip down the pecking order because of club.

        horvath and dike basically proved this was bunk earlier in the year. horvath had a monster mexico game coming off of little club usage. dike was mr. form and managed 1 goal in a few caps.

        for that matter it doesn’t seem to impact at all how many AJ scores or conversely how much steffen sits. or if hoppe cools off after his hot streak. to me to be a useful tool as opposed to talking point it has to be more consistently applied. and to me it is only somewhat predictive. it’s a scouting tool that gets you in the camp to show what you have with the others present and competing. what is more predictive is how NT games go.

      • i personally am not that interested in following the players’ career roller coasters around with microscopes. dempsey was the more talented NT stud no matter how good a MLS year wondo ever had. form should only become a concern at the very edge of the roster, like a tiebreaker on who gets the 22nd and 23rd roster spots between relatively equal players. or if i am looking around for new players with no NT caps or who haven’t been capped in 4 years. it shouldn’t be a shield from NT struggles of players who had nice resumes. it shouldn’t override basic ideas of talent and NT productiveness.

        yedlin to me is a classic example of where this leads. cost us like 3 results falling asleep, was also out of favor at newcastle, signs with a new club and doesn’t trip over his shoelaces a few months and apparently all is forgiven. really?

      • often enough “club form” discussions are a TV soccer fanboy “flex” where they try to talk you out of obvious NT performance critiques, backed by tape, by moaning that you didn’t watch their every club game as well. even if, say, PSG vs. Barca looks like the Swiss game for a certain player. the club form ideas tend to end up defending resume players almost without fail, even if i can remember bad club games, and even if they look bad or mixed bags in the shirt. club form also tends to be fanboy streaky players long after the streak ends, eg, hoppe 4 months and 1 additional goal later.

    • Yes watching players play is such a flawed system, why not just look at who scored six years ago and go by that.


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