Gio Reyna’s recent return to training with Borussia Dortmund after missing four months of action had U.S. men’s national team fans hopeful that the young star would be back for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers starting in late October, but now it appears that may have been an ambitious hope.
Reyna has yet to return to action with Dortmund and manager Marco Rose pumped the breaks on any idea of an imminent return when he revealed his intention of having Reyna back in full action starting in February.
“Gio Reyna is on the right track overall, but of course, he has lost something over time,” Marco Rose said Monday in his pre-match press conference.
“We have to get him playable and fit to play. Without wanting to promise too much, let’s aim for the break after the Hoffenheim match to get him fully fit again.”
Reyna returned to training back in late November from the hamstring injury he suffered while on international duty in September, but he endured an injury setback in the form of a thigh injury. Reyna recently returned to first-team sessions in recent weeks, but has yet to be made available for any matches. Dortmund will face St. Pauli on Tuesday before traveling to Hoffenheim in its final Bundesliga match before the upcoming international break.
USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter will have a decision to make regarding Reyna, and whether to bring him in for the upcoming qualifiers against El Salvador, Canada and Honduras. Dortmund’s decision to leave Reyna out until February has no bearing on the USMNT’s ability to bring Reyna into camp, whether just for an evaluation or to actually have Reyna play in his first qualifier since he started in the Octagonal opener in a 0-0 draw against El Salvador on September 2.
Berhalter could decide not to rush Reyna back, though the USMNT is facing some question marks at the winger position, where Tim Weah has been sidelined for six weeks with a thigh injury, leaving his availability for upcoming qualifiers in doubt as well. Brenden Aaronson remains the most likely option to start on the right wing for the USMNT, with Christian Pulisic serving as the top choice in the left wing.
Jordan Morris and Paul Arriola are two veterans who could also be deployed as winger options during the upcoming qualifiers, though both are currently out of season during the MLS winter break. Morris and Arriola are both taking part in the current USMNT preparation camp for MLS-based players ahead of the full camp starting on September 24 in Columbus.
As for Reyna, if he is left out of the upcoming qualifiers, it would allow him to focus on his recovery and making himself available for a busy February for Dortmund that includes participating in the Europa League knockout rounds, where they will face Glasgow Rangers.
What do you think of Reyna’s situation? Would you bring him back for the upcoming qualifiers if you were Berhalter, or would you let him rest and focus on being ready for a February return to Dortmund?
Share your thoughts below.