Gio Reyna is enjoying the best form of his club career with Borussia Dortmund and that trend continued Saturday with the American attacker making an impact off the bench.
Reyna scored for the third-consecutive Bundesliga match as Edin Terzic’s squad rolled past ten-man Freiburg 5-1 at Signal Iduna Park. It was Reyna’s fifth overall goal of the season and his third of 2023.
Borussia Dortmund went into the halftime break tied at 1-1 but picked up its pressure in the second half with four unanswered goals. Karim Adeyemi and Sebastian Haller scored three minutes apart to propel the hosts ahead 3-1.
Julian Brandt’s finish in the 69th minute extended Borussia Dortmund’s advantage to 4-1 before Reyna capped off a dominant performance. Raphael Guerrero’s pass to Reyna in the 82nd minute was slotted home by the U.S. men’s national team forward, continuing the 20-year-old’s impressive run of form.
Borussia Dortmund is up to third place with Saturday’s win, sitting just two points behind league-leaders Union Berlin. Terzic will hope for Reyna’s continued impact in the squad as Borussia Dortmund visits Bochum in German Cup Round of 16 action on Wednesday.
Dortmund will visit Werder Bremen in league play on Feb. 11 before welcoming Chelsea to town in UEFA Champions League Round of 16 action in mid-February.
Pocchetino viewed a similar debate about Messi as “almost silly”: “”He doesn’t need to press. When you have Messi, you need the other players to understand that they have to get the ball and give it to him so he can conserve his energy and then be decisive, as shown.”
despite everyone watching wales and holland we still seem to be discussing stuff in terms of the supposed virtues of the high press, when that should be fairly discredited as tactics and something within our fitness to execute.
posting this on the day the leeds high press fanatic gets fired.
sorry but when i was coming up adding to your turnover by chasing upfield after the ball was seen as diving in, pulling out of shape, and compounding your mistakes. amused this somehow became a doctrine, particularly on a team that wishes it could possess but really can’t — unless you count passing around the back.
and yes i am comparing him to messi. within this team he’s one of the 3 best players we have and probably our most technical — weah and pulisic are more athletic. the problem is this narrowminded coach pigeonholed a versatile technician who could have been played as a 10 or 9 or even pulisic’s sub as well, as weah’s backup and perhaps even 3rd string behind morris. to me the point to lineups and tactics is get your best players on the field. if you are so locked into positions and schemes you can’t have 2 of your best players on the field at the same time then you don’t have much coaching clue.
and i still find this whole line of discussion endlessly amusing because the wingbacks behind reyna and pulisic can be completely useless on defense and that gets “no problem.” this makes no sense.
in reality reyna’s largest minutes came when the team dug a hole first half holland playing shoddy defense — particularly wingbacks — and it’s like, help, please, offense, bail me out. in reality as i have said elsewhere even if you like this 433 stuff the mix was wrong. 1 win. couldn’t even beat wales. gave up more than we scored. scored less than a goal a game. what you’re implicitly pushing is ineffective. demonstrably so. have morris and scrubby 9s up there. struggle to score. not defend spotless. go home. is that the plan?
so clearly we need a mix of players shifted around,, new faces, probably new look. in that new look my bet is the front few are not so fixated on defense instead of their real job.
Keep on cancelling out the noise Gio. Keep working hard and scoring regardless if you get 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes or 90 minutes.
If only you’d been there to give him that advice before the closed door friendly in Qatar.
(brings up his fit, for which he has done penance sufficient for 99% of the team, for the 20th time when he does something good)
you ever think you were just wrong?
and you lot seem to miss he was benched before he went on mental strike. explain that part.
I’m sure by that point Gio realized that Uncle Gregg had no clear idea for what to do with him.
Case in point, the 2020 Wales friendly. Josh was COVID restricted at the last minute.
In camp Gregg still had Gio, KDLF, Weah, Gioachinni, Richie L. and Soto as forward options. KDLF and Gio were the two “wingers”.
Me, I would have moved Gio to the center ( Fake 9, or 10) and put Weah on the right wing. If you didn’t not like that there were a number of other alternatives w people like Nico Gioachinni, Soto and Richie to look at.
Instead, in the middle of a pandemic, he flies Seba all the way over to Europe from I believe, SoCal, plays him as a fake 9, a position Seba had never played and we get to watch Seba gum up the offense for about 80 minutes and waste the friendly.
Why the fuck did he waste a great opportunity to practice on Wales and do that? Why not play Gio centrally, where he normally played for BVB and maybe get him going?
You all keep portraying Gio as the bad guy here when it was clear that Uncle Gregg long before Qatar, didn’t really have a plan for getting something out of Gio.
Sticking him out on the right wing and saying make something happen, is not a plan.
Partnering him Seba, who never met an incisive pass or run he could not make, didn’t make sense either. Pulisic did not love playing with Seba either, if body language and looks of disgust are any clue.
Seba has his uses but partnering with players like Pulisic and Gio is not one of them. Seba’s just lucky he wasn’t partnered with Thierry Henry who might have stopped the game just to yell at him.
let’s see. GR had 2G right before the break as a starter. comes back has 3G after the break as a sub. “obviously a sub then.” “see it proves he doesn’t work hard enough.” blah blah blah. objectively you’re wrong.
let’s see. we can stick wingBACKS out there who can’t mark for squat — basically the reason we got eliminated — but we can’t put wingFORWARDS out there unless they are hustling arriola or morris. geez you people have it backwards.
let’s see. the US this cycle had lower goals per game than the 2018 cycle or most other recent cycles. 1.5 G/g. even 2018 was 1.7. in the last pretournament friendlies they had 0 GF 2 GA 0W 1T 1L. in the world cup 3 GF (0.75 G/g) 4 GA 1 W 2T 1L. in the most recent friendlies 1 GF (0.5 G/g) 2 GA 0W 1T 1L. some of you fail to consider whether the offense-defense balance has been set properly for this roster. as in we can barely score lately. you aren’t going to win many games barely scoring.
i mean, yes, we made a decision with a premise. do the numbers suggest the premise is working? not really.
433 is a silly defensive formation. if you have to start hustle mids and hustle wings to defend your 433 maybe you shouldn’t be playing a 433, which is no one’s idea of how to defend. and even the italians who won the euros playing highly defensive soccer in a 433 basically had a division of labor — a highly technical front 3 and a defensive 7-8 behind them. not sure how you plan on winning games without a clear attacking plan — besides aimless crossing — and picking as many as 8-9 players for defense. and then oddly not playing a defensive formation to do it.
i played on some defensive soccer teams in my life and have advocated we become a counter soccer team again but dude when i do win the ball i don’t want to have to score through some hustling scrub. when you start justifying morris out there you have a problem. and he could play 9 or 10 just the same.
last point, personally i think presses are silly and ours got torched by holland. basically compound your turnover mistake by diving in on defense. just brilliant. and i’d swear we just proved we can’t even fitness-wise do it more than a half against a poor wales team that went winless.
just nonsense. no, a guy with 3 G in 3 appearances has not proven GB or you were right that he has problems and should barely see the light of day.
are you kidding me.
He wasn’t 90 minutes ready, Gregg told him they were going to start Tim because of this. He has poor conduct in training 3 days before Wales. That’s why Morris played. Gio apologized at some point between friendly and Wales but he still had to face some punishment for his actions. Pretty clear it was decided Gio wasn’t able to put in the defensive shift necessary if the US had a lead. Against England he entered tied and entered against Netherlands down. I certainly could argue a good defense is maintaining possession and using Gio to do that against Iran and Wales might have helped. If Gregg keeps his mouth shut and we see Gio still not starting another 6 weeks later and his manager says he’s still not fully back (as he did this week) everyone says “oh I guess he wasn’t fit enough to start” and we’d all be moved on. Gregg kept the flame burning and Gio’s parents threw that flame into the dumpster. None of that makes Gio a bad person or a lost cause.
have you ever played? what you are misdiagnosing is most teams wouldn’t pick attacking players based on defensive ability. they might bench someone who literally wouldn’t follow the concepts. they would pick defenders and 6s to crunch. they would pick attackers for helping create goals and just bench the ones who thought they couldn’t be bothered jogging on defense.
did you actually think the high press worked? that’s not what wales or holland said. i played on good defensive teams that dropped back to the half line. has the benefit of not compounding one’s mistakes or pulling out of shape. or exhausting the team.
you have not fully interrogated your own berhalter premises.
nor do you seem to acknowledge that we could give a fart less if the wingbacks behind reyna and pulisic could mark to save their lives, if you think about that, it’s funny.
IV: your so quick to disagree you don’t even read. What I want is irrelevant I wasn’t managing the team in Qatar. Gregg decided that they were going to high press at that point using Gio for 70-90 minutes wasn’t possible given his health. It’s also obvious Gregg’s plan with a lead late was to park the bus. So he felt bringing on Gio against Wales and Iran wasn’t wise because he was going to have to defend in his own half not press. A I clearly stated I don’t agree with that tactic when in the lead.
quozzel, i agree with you, have been saying htis about Gio for some time now, about his unwillingness to work defensively, a simple tell re. his team understanding or lack of it
100% with you. He comes across as a diva and his indifference to pressing and defending drive me insane. As a coach I figured out real quick it doesn’t matter how slick a guy is or how skilled; if he won’t work and only wants to attack it really limits how useful he is. My rule of thumb was that I could afford one diva sh!tbag on the field at a time – I almost always played that guy as a 10 – and he’d durn well better be awesome if I was going to let him get away with that. (I even called it the “diva sh!tbag position”, just to let my players know what I thought of that mentality…and I’d usually carry just two or at most three of those guys on a team at a time and they usually split time at the 10 and sometimes the 9 if we were dominating possession and we just needed to break down a team backed into their box.)
They’re useful…in spots. Skill still matters, especially in the final third of the field, and especially in the box, and Gio’s got a ton of that. But especially if you’re playing a pressing 4-3-3 it’s hard to see where you’d start such a player.
Did you manage a national team?
In a national team you have a closed player pool.
You may have only one diva shitbag available and if not then you’re going to have to get someone else to do what the diva shitbag is best at. Or you could be a good manager and find a way to get the best out of the aforementioned diva shitbag.
The USMNT has historically been very short of players with diva shitbag skills. The USSF has acknowledged this and allegedly is trying to remedy this by building a team with an allegedly more attack oriented style that is supposed to be more attractive.
The problem with that is that its a national team and national teams have, compared to a well drilled club side, zero time to spend on drills and practice. It’s so much harder for them to be a well oiled lean mean killing machine. And if you have one , two or three diva shitbags you may no tbe able to just dump them. You may actually have to manage them into being productive players.
Before Qatar Diva Shitbag Gio has clearly and often, demonstrated that he possesses excellent offensive skills that work at the Champions League level.
The talent is there. It was up to the manager to figure put how to unlock it.
Some countries have a number of core players whose clubs play basically the same two or three schemes so that simplifies the cohesion thing for the manager. This is true for Argentina and Brazil and most of the Euro powers.
The USMNT doesn’t have that yet, though Leeds is helping.
Well drilled disciplined teams are vital but even they need that individual spark that a diva shitbag can provide. so until the USMNT player pool is further along they will have a need for a diva shitbag like Gio if they want to get to a level past advance and lose knockout game.
Notice how Pulisic failed in his opportunity to score early against Holland and think about just how differently that game might have gone had he displayed the kind of clinical cold blooded execution diva shitbag Gio is currently displaying (which he has for most of his short career).
Argentina were a very well oiled machine much better than I’ve seen them in a long time but when it got sticky, they could turn to their diva shitbag and he would pull them out of the fire.
Whoever the next manager is, Gregg or not, they need to figure out how to get that Diva shitbag production from Gio. And if they can’t they need to find another Diva shitbag.
If you doubt that, look at Leeds who might have been better served buying Gio rather than Weston, though I think Weston might eventually be what keeps them up.
Want to play with the big boys? You need to score goals.
V: you are missing my point. i don’t think we should be picking frontline players primarily for defense. which is what morris over reyna screams. and setting that aside, you missed my “9” point. in most defensive schemes — even this naive pressing crap — the “9” is either rested or used to guide plays one side or the other, playing passing lanes. you may remember england doing this to us. so if you are having “9” issues and you have a potential “9” you believe won’t as a wing run way upfield and press, put him at “9.”
let’s be honest, anyway, the real engine of a 433 press is the midfield who sit on top of the next layer of passes. i don’t approve because i think a defense diving in all over the place is a good way to get beat. but the Fs running is less important than the Ms sitting on their men on a high line.
Always coming in during the second half to get goals and always making Dortmund a better team “offensively” when subbed on. So the questions remain……….Why is Reyna not a starter.? What is lacking in his game that grounds him as a sub? He is only 20 so I hope these questions are answered soon to elevate his game to the next level
His manager said this week he is still not fully back from injury. Also as Q and Beachbum have mentioned his defensive work rate is not as high as the guys playing in front of him. Before injury he showed willingness to do that work so whether it’s physical, mental, or just being told to ease into things he isn’t defending at a 90 minute rate yet.
“Why is Reyna not a starter.? What is lacking in his game that grounds him as a sub?
You say that like him not being a starter is a bad thing, punishment for him being a dick or something..
I guess you have forgotten what Gio has already accomplished.
You speak about him like he’s some guy of tremendous potential who hasn’t done anything yet.
Like, for example Chris Richards.
Keep in mind that he was born on November 13, 2002. He’s not 21 but already your tone suggests you want to class him as a part time has been.
The overall tone of this thread is that he’s finished as a front line player worthy only of occasionally being a sub. And that the USMNT should focus on more promising new kids like for example, Taylor Booth, Zendejas or Djorde. All older and less accomplished.
Just to remind you here’s what Gio has already done in his short career.
January 18, 2020, He made his debut for BVB when he was 17 years old vs. Augsburg. the youngest American ever to appear in the Bundesliga, breaking a record previously set by guess who? Christian Pulisic.
February 4,2020 scored his first professional goal in a 3–2 defeat to Werder Bremen in the DFB-Pokal Round of 16. He became the youngest goal scorer in German Cup history.
February 18, 2020, Reyna became the third-youngest player ever to appear in a knockout game of the UEFA Champions League when he came on as a substitute in the 67th minute against Paris Saint-Germain. He set up Erling Haaland’s game-winning goal for Borussia Dortmund becoming the youngest American to play and record an assist in a Champions League fixture.
September 19, 2020, Reyna scored his first Bundesliga goal in a 3–0 win against Borussia Mönchengladbach, aged 17 years and 311 days. That made him the second youngest American scorer in Bundesliga behind Captain America,
October 3, 2020, in his third league appearance of the 2020–21 season, Reyna assisted on 3 goals to beat SC Freiburg 4–0. That made him the first American to record a hat trick of assists in the 5 Top league game since Steve Cherundolo did it for Hannover in March 2008, and the youngest player to ever do so in the Bundesliga.
December 5, 2020 Reyna scored his second Bundesliga goal against Eintracht Frankfurt. He became the second youngest American to score twice in the league after you know who.
December 22, 2020, he was voted the U.S. Soccer’s Young Male Player of the Year for 2020.
May 13, 2021, Reyna was a second-half substitute in a 4–1 victory over RB Leipzig in the 2021 DFB-Pokal Final. That made him the youngest American to appear in a domestic cup final in Europe, a record previously held by …Tony Stark…never mind,
August 27, 2021 he became the youngest player to make 50 Bundesliga appearances during the league match against Hoffenheim.
Reyna suffered a series of injuries that caused him to miss the majority of the 2021–22 season.
Returning from injuries, on September 6, 2022, Reyna became the first American player to provide two assists in a Champions League match in a 3–0 win against Copenhagen.
So, bizzy, you’re wondering why he’s not a starter yet?
Well, he was a starter. You can look it up. But it didn’t take.
My thought is maybe they brought him up a little too early, but he did so well they couldn’t sit him down? Some of them were big games, Champions League knockout games, where BVB turned to Gio instead of established vets.
He wasn’t making his debut against Cuba or Belize.
And he came through.
He became a starter for a while but kept getting hurt and then he had that missed 2021-22 season and all that followed.
The theory I like is that while all this was happening Gio was growing into his body and maybe he wasn’t really ready for all the stress that full time starting put on him.
Gio came up at a time when a lot of teams in Europe were getting dramatically younger. Players were aging out and the kids were a lot better than they had been and were, of course, cheaper.
BVB themselves had Pulisic, Sancho, and Bellingham a bit later on besides Gio. And Erling, who is an old man at 22 ( July, 2000).
Go over his player stats over the years and you can almost watch as his body breaks down.
Gio would not be the first and only “teen sensation” to be over used and sent astray because of it.
Look at him today and find a picture of him during his debut season. His body has clearly changed.
It keeps getting said but y’all keep not listening.
He was a teenager who literally had and maybe is still having growing pains.
Now go back over that list of accomplishments and tell me who else we have in the pipeline that has already done anything like that?
So, it’s not even so much about potential. This guy has already done a lot of things most of our player pool, regardless of age, have not done.at that high a level.
There is no team in the world that wouldn’t want a reliable 2nd half offensive producer reasonably proven at the Champions League level. None.
And you’re complaining that he’s not a starter? The USMNT can’t use him? What a crock.
And he’s only a year older at best than Cade Cowell or Caden Clark, and not quite two years older than Paxton Aaronson, three more American soccer saviors, MLS flag bearers and flavors of the month.
Let’s see if one year from today Cowell will be as slick and talented, accomplished and as deadly as Gio is right now.
Apparently, Caden is now with Leipzig, so that should be fun to watch.
And let’s see where Paxton is.
If you want to criticize Gregg, do so for his inability to get anything out of Gio.
If you want to praise Gregg do so for him possibly recognizing that Gio was damaged goods. Gio said he was fit, and he may have been, physically. But fitness is about more than physical, it’s also mental. And Gregg may have recognized that Gio was still holding himself back.
Many athletes may, for example, have a healed knee injury as healed as it is ever going to be but maybe the athlete still doesn’t have that confidence in the knee back yet. It happens all the time and is reflected in the athlete’s performance. I think that’s what Gregg meant when he said it was a fitness issue. And, like all exceptional athletes, Gio was sure he was 100%. They almost always say that. Players, like their coaches, lie all the time..
If you want to get back to criticizing Gregg blast him for not figuring out how to best handle Gio on this issue. It’s tricky but that is why they pay him the big bucks.
Overall he might have been better off leaving Gio off the roster initially and taking the big hit early. Like JK did with LD for very similar reasons. Still, Gio probably is going to be the end of Gregg just like LD was the end of JK.
But at least JK went to Brazil with “his” team. He prevented LD from possibly ruining the experience for all of them.
No one can take the Brazil experience away from him.
If only he’d been willing to do this at the World Cup!!
Are we forgetting he played a whole 2nd half against Belgium in the knockout round? He did nothing. If he wasn’t such a baby about coming off the bench he might have played during group play but clealry Reyna thinks he should start. The only good thing out of this Reyna and his karen parents thing is it got GGG outta here. But in no way I’m ever going to defend Reyna over what happen in Qatar. I had Weah starting over him before the WC too. Still do
I did not see Gio vs Belgium .
However, I did see him vs. the Netherlands. But who cares what I think? Better we hear from his team mates.
“U.S. national team center back Tim Ream said on his podcast, Indirect, that the controversy surrounding teammate Gio Reyna at the World Cup is a “non-story,” and that the situation was handled at the tournament by the team.
“I mean for us, it’s a non-story,” Ream said. “We dealt with it in camp, things moved on, we moved past it and that’s where we are. The players, there was no vote. So we can put that to bed. And like I said, we addressed it in camp and (Reyna) did what he had to do, and obviously came on against the Netherlands and played a pretty solid 45 minutes for us and helped to kind of drag us back into the game. So yeah for us, that’s it. That’s the end of it.”
Belgium? Maybe he didn’t do anything because he didn’t play vs. Belgium in the knockout round. However, vs. the Netherlands he came on in the second half with the US down 2-0. What do you want? You want the guy to score 3 goals in 45 minutes? If you are going to blame someone, blame Berhalter for actually starting Ferreira vs the Netherlands; blame the douchebag for subbing in Morris in the first game instead of Gio and lying on his decision for that sub; blame the bum for wasting spots on Roldan and Long as team mascots,
Of course Gio thinks he should have started; he’s probably the 3rd best player on the team. Almost every analyst believes this. Gio was pissed because Beerholder had no intention of even playing him even off the bench during the group stage; this is why he said that Gio was hurt. And when Berhalter was caught lying, he became furious and threw Gio under the bus. And at least know what a ‘Karen’ is before using this stupid term. You use it because you simply do not like the lady, period. You throw it out like the dopes that throw out the race card. Gio’s mother didn’t try to get even with Berhalter because her son wasn’t playing as much as she wanted. Sure, she was angry, but she didn’t try to get Berhalter in trouble for that. She did it because the creep threw him under the bus, which could have ruined his career, after he said everything was fine.
Mr. V, what is Ream supposed to say? lol, come one man
“Mr. V, what is Ream supposed to say? ”
He didn’t have to say anything in the first place.
Podcast participation is voluntary, not mandatory.
Ream is pretty classy , humble and low key in general. So for him to go out of his way to say as many positive things about Gio as he did is noteworthy.
Players tend side with players unless that player is schtupping another players wife. I have yet to see anyone from the 1998 team defend Prell model Harkes.
That tells me that maybe Gio isn’t at the level of big dickness like you guys like to say he is.
You’re not hearing a lot from the other 25 though Roldan came out and said pretty much what Ream did minus the commentary of Gio’s Netherlands performance.
Cristian seems like a “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas guy” . He mostly was upset that anything came out at all about what he thought was a dead issue. Roldan is known for being a behind the scenes glue guy that everyone seems to respect. For him to be that open about Gregg’s big mouth is pretty interesting.
Also Yedlin came out defending Gregg w/o really saying anything bad about Gio.
Reyna’s sort of confirming my opinion of him: he isn’t a starter, either at the club or International level. He won’t press and he won’t defend and his low energy is a problem…for the first 60 minutes or so of a game, unless you’re deliberately setting up with a pure 10 or second striker who doesn’t have to press or defend, and that’s getting to be an increasingly rare duck in the modern game. And if you play him too many minutes he’s going to get hurt on you anyway.
What he does do well in the modern game is come off the bench in the last 30 minutes, when the game has slowed down and opened up, and players have largely run themselves out…that’s when you can put him at, say, left wing and get away with it because the other team’s right back isn’t making nearly as many forward runs, and the press has largely tapered off on both sides anyhow. At that point his skill on the ball – especially against tired defenders – starts really showing.
He’s not a star and he’s not a starter, IMHO. What he actually seems to be is the soccer equivalent of a sixth man in basketball or a relief pitcher in baseball, and if you manage his minutes and use him wisely he can clearly be a game-changer for you. My guess is what we’re seeing now is probably Gio’s future career, both for club and for country.
I agree that’s how it looks at the moment. And Pefok seems to be playing a similar role for Union Berlin (nice game winner today).
This is a view that many in the USMNT fanbase would disagree but I agree with you. I like Reyna as a super sub with limited mins to keep him healthy
The kid is only 20 and has scored 3 games in a row in the Bundesliga. And yet some people have concluded that how he was is how he is going to be for the rest of his career. I often like to point out that Dempsey didn’t even start playing professionally until he was 21.
people are full of it. i am sure a guy with 3G in 3g or 5G in 8g lands very well on his feet, starter or sub, some place. and the “sub” diss is funny because how weah and pulisic and the GK have at times been treated this year. i wish they calibrated career choices different but you have people who want them on UCL sides then want to clown them if they sit — on the only teams they would do that for. it’s really a TV-driven fanboy cult who has no clue how darwinian it is in college or the pros. they tout the idea of constant lineup competition then don’t seem to get that might mean you’re at least sometimes a sub. even playing well. it’s really an overdog fantasy posing as analysis.
if he is still sitting but also still scoring he will be snapped up for like 10-15m euros in the summer. just like weah was.
what the fanboys neglect is GB only played him half the games, even if BD thinks he’s a lazy supersub they use him about every week. what the fanboys neglect is we have other players getting similar time who don’t get similar crap.
personally i think it is the epitome of lazy fanboy xeroxing to treat players exactly as their club teams do, after they do it. any idiot with a remote and access to box scores can do that. how about our own idea of talent and value? so bored of fanboys who change their opinions of players weekly. do you become a worse player this week or next?
Gio is 20.
I get that the Reyna family is a much loved target for you guys but you may want to think about Tyler and Christian’s brittle bodies.
Everyone has forgotten but Tyler missed a lot of games between 18/19 and 21/22 and it seemed like he was injury prone and his career was in some jeopardy.
For a guy whose game is based on being everywhere at once for 90 plus minutes, adductor injury is a dirty word.
Season and Games missed
36 games missed
Averaged missing 8 games per season
Season and Games missed
44 games missed
Averaged missing 11 games per season
Gio has missed more games than Tyler but this season before Qatar, BVB were being very careful with the conflicting goals of trying to bring him back slowly but also trying to get him some fitness before Qatar. After missing what amounts to one entire season and then having some setbacks earlier in the 22/23 season, I’m not convinced Gio had it together before Qatar.
I would argue that Gio might have been further along today if not for the interruption to his recovery caused by Qatar. Of course I’m not a doctor, but I don’t think Qatar was a great thing for his recovery.
Of course the American Marco Reus is Pulisic:
(Not including this season and his latest injury)
In a four season period, 18/19, 19/20, 20/21, 21/22,
55 games missed
Average missing 13.75 games missed per season.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who thought and still thinks Tyler and Christian were/are injury prone. But before Qatar both had periods of injury like Gio and came back to put in some good shifts at the World Cup. They had the advantage of going into Qatar fit and recovered. I don’t believe Gio was.
There are a lot of people more knowledgeable than me who think Gio may well turn out to be the best American player ever but is running out of time at the ripe old age of 20. This is a guy who can’t rent a motel room or a car or buy a drink in an American bar and he’s already done.
Tyler’s recent performances are helping put aside concerns about his durability while of course Christian’s knee injury only adds to the narrative that he is emulating his BVB hero mentor, Mr. made of glass, Marco Reus.
Of course, both Tyler and Christian can rent a motel room, a car and can enter a bar and have a drink in a bar in Pennsylvania.
My take is trying to play productively at the level where these three are is very hard.
I haven’t even gone into Weston and Weah’s injuries but they seem to have better timing with them. Timo is perpetually injured but he did show up in Qatar.
And of course, these guys have no control over the timing of injuries .
The cure for these injuries is obvious , a lot more depth and suitable replacements for all these guys. That way no one notices so much when someone gets hurt.
When people barely notice that you’ve lost Benzema, Pogba and Kante, and you still make the WC final that’s the kind of depth we need.
Until that happens everyone will bitch, whine and gnash their teeth about it and complain that there is something wrong with these guys getting hurt so much..
I got curious about Timo’s injury history:
56 games missed
Average of 14 games missed per season
Weah is the new injury king vs. Christian, Tyler, and Gio.
The key is Weah’s got better timing about his injuries than Gio does.
History tells us that none of our three best offensive players (Pulisic,, Weah, Gio) are exactly iron men. The difference is that Pulisic and Weah will work hard…Pulisic prefers not to press or defend but he absolutely will when necessity demands it; you’d just ideally not let him burn his energy doing that because you’d rather he spend his energy making runs and moving off the ball. Weah is a bust-ass hard worker and will both press and defend. All three guys do seem kind of injury prone.
Skillwise, Gio’s probably the most skilled of any of the three (which is saying a good bit), but he’s also by far the lowest-energy and again will neither press nor defend. He also doesn’t have anything resembling the pace of Weah or the twitchiness of Pulisic. That’s what makes it hard to start him…unless, as I mentioned, you’re setting up with a pure 10 or second striker who doesn’t have to press or defend, like a 4-2-3-1 or 4-4-2…we don’t use that at the moment, though a future USMNT coach might decide to.
But those who say “this is why we need depth” are exactly correct. It’s exactly why I got so excited when I saw Alejandro Zendejas….IMHO he’s in the same quality class as those three guys and is a left-footer to boot, and his insane work rate makes him a starting-level guy (Of course, Zendejas suffered what looked like a major hamstring injury last night too.)
Hopefully between those four guys we’ll have at least half of them healthy at a time. It definitely seems we could use them all and I’d feel better if we found another quality offensive piece as well.
“The difference is that Pulisic and Weah will work hard…Pulisic prefers not to press or defend but he absolutely will when necessity demands it; you’d just ideally not let him burn his energy doing that because you’d rather he spend his energy making runs and moving off the ball. Weah is a bust-ass hard worker and will both press and defend. All three guys do seem kind of injury prone.”
How do you know Gio wasn’t/isn’t working hard?
Because he looks like he isn’t working hard? What does that mean? Haven’t you seen the commercial about never letting them see you sweat?
When you say what Pulisic “prefers” to do , unless he told you this personally, you are just stating your opinion.
We KNOW Pulisic can press and defend because Tuchel asked him to do a bit of both at BVB and again at Chelsea .
But the fact that Pulisic can do that isn’t what made Chelsea pay so much for him. They did that because he is great at unsettling defenses. And if Christian gets back to anywhere near his former standing again, it will be for that same reason, not because he can press and defend.
“but he’s also by far the lowest-energy and again will neither press nor defend.”
What does “lowest energy” even mean? Are we back to evaluating players like Gio by how much they run around and sweat or how dirty their uniforms are?
Run around hard and fast and hit everything in sight?
Then drop Gio and bring in Ariolla and Lletget.
If you want to “goon ” it up then that can be effective too.
One of my favorite players remains Dave “Cement Head” Semenko, the Great One’s body guard.
Physical intimidation works in soccer just like it does in hockey.
Have the manager’s at BVB told you that “he will neither press nor defend” because if Gio isn’t doing that and they still play him , which they were doing before he got hurt, then there is probably a very good reason.
I would play Gio somewhere in the attack because the odds are when he is there someone on the good guys side will score.
A player gets the big money for what he CAN DO not what he can’t.
It’s up to the manager to figure out how to make up for the deficit.
All pros CAN press and defend . If they can’t do it to your taste, you just sit them down and get someone else to do it.
We don’t know what Gio’s coaches at BVB have asked him to do. Whatever they asked, they don’t look to me like they are overly concerned about Gio’s defense and pressing.
He may be a whiny prima donna but it looks to me like they are more interested his ability to make something out of nothing.
His excellence in that area is more impactful than your perception that he won’t defend or press.
If Gregg needs defense or pressing he can look to Aaronson, who he wasn’t using. Why is that? Did Brenden not create enough offensively?
Why not use Gio then?
You can use either one if you drop Ferreira or Josh who now suddenly is back in favor.
But apparently Ferreira is undroppable. If you don’t bring Ferreira and Long to Qatar you can risk bringing Pepi or Pefok to Qatar and combining them with Gio.
Gio has shown he knows how to work with a big #9, like his former Uber driver. Who by the way thinks a lot more of Gio than you do.
Very few players are 100 % great on both defense and offense. Most are better at one side of the ball.
The manager has to decide how to organize all that.
Gregg’s idea was to put Gio out on the wing which didn’t really get him involved.
If Gio does not fit into Gregg’s structure then fine, drop him and leave him at home. The USMNT wouldn’t be the first team to leave a player behind because he didn’t fit into the overall scheme.
It never bothered me that Gregg had a vision of what he wanted. What bothered me was this constant back and forth. Gregg didn’t know what to do with Gio. So, just do not put him on the plane in the first place and be done with it.
” and players have largely run themselves out…that’s when you can put him at, say, left wing and get away with it because the other team’s right back isn’t making nearly as many forward runs, and the press has largely tapered off on both sides anyhow. At that point his skill on the ball – especially against tired defenders – starts really showing”
What happens if the other team subs out their right back? Don’t both teams have the same number of subs? You could just go like for like. Which, in fact, is what Gregg usually did.
In other words it’s easy for Gio to be a sub because anyone can do it since the other team is weaker.
I can accept that if you are fitter than the other team, and are better at possession, you can run them into the ground. But if all things are more or less even, I don’t buy the subs with fresh legs vs. gassed defenders theory as much, not when we now have 5 subs, 50% of the outfield players.
If I know the other team has an instant offense threat on the bench, particularly one as credible as Gio, then I just might organize my subs so he gets a fresh marker on him regardless.
And you’re the one who says Gio is low energy, so regardless of when he gets in a game he does not need to be blasting past some rubber legged defender to get in a deadly cross. Gio’s not a burner, tired defender or not. Guys like him know how to take advantage of defenders who are not as good as him so it doesn’t really matter when he takes them on. It doesn’t hurt if they are tired but Gio doesn’t need them to be tired per se. for him to beat them. And when you just get into a game you may not be as sharp as a defender who has already been on for a while.
If you’re an organized manager and have a bit of luck and some depth the 5 sub rule has changed things a lot. . It has Americanized the game because it has made it more of a manager’s game. Americans love to micromanage a game as much as humanly possible.
The NFL is the ultimate for those who love to micro manage.