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SBI USMNT Man of the Match: Gio Reyna

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The U.S. men’s national team welcomed back the playmaking abilities of Gio Reyna on Thursday night and the Borussia Dortmund attacker did not disappoint in a 30-minute outing off of the bench.

Reyna made his first qualifying appearance since September 2021, showing positive moments in a 0-0 draw with Mexico at Estadio Azteca. The 19-year-old earned SBI Man of the Match honors, edging Miles Robinson, Kellyn Acosta, and Tim Weah to the recognition.

The USMNT turned to Reyna to help spark a surge offensively and the youngster came close to setting up the winning goal. Reyna’s control in the box helped him set up Jordan Pefok for a point-blank opportunity, however the substitute striker missed from inside of the box.

Reyna continued to pester the Mexico midfield and backline, picking up possession in midfield and taking on players at will. His best moment came in the 77th minute where Reyna picked up possession within his own defensive third before racing upfield and dancing around several Mexico players.

With Tim Weah suspended for Sunday’s home match vs. Panama, Gregg Berhalter will feel confident in Reyna’s availability after his impressive outing on Thursday night. Miles Robinson also impressed against Mexico, overcoming an early yellow card and keeping Raul Jimenez in check for most of the night.

Kellyn Acosta worked tirelessly in midfield for the USMNT, covering a lot of ground and helping keep Mexico’s playmaking midfielders from having an impact. Tim Weah was creative in the final third, connecting with Christian Pulisic for a shot on goal in the first half and constantly putting Mexico left back Gerardo Arteaga under pressure.

What did you think of Reyna’s performance? Who else impressed you in Thursday’s draw?

Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. Why wasn’t any US player running with Gio, when he took on 5 players? His ball control was so smooth, it look like he was dancing on El Tri! Pefok’s miss was the most disappointing moment. Second disappointing moment for me, was no one running with Gio, but instead chose to ball watch. Like a lot of people, I’m glad he’s back!

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  2. Kellyn Acosta for me. The author mentioned his defending, but he also had at least two fantastic, creative passes that led to chances.

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    • Agree. Acosta was fantastic again against Mexico, on both sides of the ball. He is becoming more than just depth in central midfield, he has some unique characteristics of his own that really add to the team. He is fast and athletic enough to play against top competition, as much defensive bite as McKennie and Adams, capable of switching point of attack and hitting long diagonals from deep, and even starting to show some playmaking. If he can keep up that level of play, he is pushing to start even with our full and complete squad.

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  3. I disagree about Berhalter being MOTM. True he made some good decisions, but I was not happy when he decided to simply defend for the last 10 minutes by making what were clearly defensive changes inserting Long, EPB and Morris and going to a back 5 with Morris dropping deep I would have preferred replacing Acosta with de la Torre and would have left Pulisic in . Also, since it seems that GB thinks that a quick forward vs Mexico is a better option (he actually said something like that), why not use Ferreira instead of Pefok to use quickness to go after tiring legs in Mexico’s defense?

    I guess GB thought at the end it was better to be cautious and come away with a point rather than none. But Mexico had almost constant attacking pressure in those last 15 minutes. It was a big risk, if Lozano could put his shots on target it would have been a different result.

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    • Agree about the last 10-15 minutes. Found myself asking “is this a friendly or something??”. Felt like we let Mexico off the hook at a minimum (as you say, it actually seemed like we let them back in the game). Dumping defenders on the field does not always equate to playing it safe!
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      Other than that, I did think Berhalter had a very good outing. Team was ready to play and the tactics were solid. Would’ve preferred Ferreira to Pefok but maybe that’s just hindsight.

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    • With 10 minutes left, risking to get a win was less critical than getting at least a point. At the start, all considered Panama and Costa Rica more important than the result in Mexico. We went for a win up until the defensive subs were made to secure at least a point.

      If we has subbed in more offense and lost, people would be asking for Berhalter’s head on a platter.

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  4. MOTM: Berhalter
    – Prepared a competively cohesive unit despite injuries to key players and a last minute COVID omission.
    – Did not fill that last roster spot right after Aaronson’s injury, and used as insurance to bring in Shaq Moore.
    – Timely subbing with EPB and Long to add needed defense to close the game
    – Limited Reyna’s minutes, who will likely fill in for Weah in Orlando

    Sometimes you have to give credit where credit is due

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