Injuries hampered Gio Reyna’s second season with Borussia Dortmund and with returning manager Edin Terzic aiming to keep the American playmaker off of the sidelines this fall, the German is focused on easing Reyna back into things during preseason camp.
Reyna and Borussia Dortmund continue their camp in Germany ahead of Thursday’s first of three summer friendlies against third-tier side SC Verl. Borussia Dortmund will also face Valencia and Villarreal this month before kicking off its competitive schedule on July 29 against 1860 Munich in the German DFB Pokal .
The 19-year-old was reduced to 12 appearances during the 2021-22 campaign after a lingering hamstring issue forced him to miss majority of Dortmund’s season. After seeing Reyna’s potential firsthand during his time as Dortmund’s caretaker manager in 2020-21, Terzic is hoping a cautious approach this summer will play major dividends in the American’s overall season.
“Gio was out for a long time,” Terzic told reporters at training camp, transcribed by Bundesliga.com. “He’s a young guy who has had to deal with a huge number of setbacks in the last 12 months.
“We want to make sure that he doesn’t suffer another setback now, that he regains confidence in himself and his body, and that he has fun playing football again,” Terzic said. “That’s why we prefer to take a more cautious approach – because it’s about him staying with us for a very, very long time.”
Reyna has scored nine goals and added 12 assists in 76 combined appearances with Dortmund since his promotion to the first team in January 2020. His lengthy spell on the sidelines last season not only hampered his development, but also forced him to miss out on Dortmund’s European involvement and top-four push in the Bundesliga.
Reyna’s return will benefit Borussia Dortmund as the German club aims to push Bayern Munich in the league title race and also advance out of the UEFA Champions League group stage. In addition, the U.S. men’s national team will hope to have Reyna fit and in-form for involvement at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar after he missed majority of the qualifying schedule through injury.
While Terzic would like to have Reyna ready to go for a starting role in Week 1, a lighter workload could be important in having the promising attacker available for a busy first half of the season.