About Gio Reyna
Giovanni (Gio) Reyna is a name that has been making 🌊 waves in the soccer world.
Born on November 13, 2002, in Durham, North Carolina, Reyna is an American professional soccer player who has been making a name for himself in the Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund and the United States national team.
Reyna is known for his playmaking, positioning, and dribbling abilities, and is considered one of the best young players in the world.
Reyna’s father, Claudio Reyna, a former soccer player himself, has been an inspiration to his son. Claudio earned 112 caps with the U.S. Men’s National Team and is one of only three USMNT players to make four different World Cup rosters.
It is no surprise that Giovanni has followed in his father’s footsteps and has become a rising star in the soccer world.
In this article, we’ll explain Reyna’s background, his playing career, and the controversy that surrounded him in 2022.
Gio Reyna Parents and Early Life
Giovanni Reyna was born on November 13, 2002, in Sunderland, England, to Claudio Reyna and Danielle Egan Reyna.
Both of his parents are former soccer players who played for the United States men’s and women’s national teams, respectively. Talk about the perfect gene pool!
Gio spent much of his childhood in New York City alongside his older brother, Jack, and younger siblings, Joah and Carolina.
His father, Claudio Reyna, was the captain of the United States national team and played for clubs like Manchester City, Rangers, and Sunderland.
Growing up in a soccer family, it was no surprise that Gio developed a passion for the sport at an early age. He started playing soccer when he was just three years old and began his youth career at the New York City FC Academy.
Gio’s family background played a significant role in shaping his career. His father, Claudio, was instrumental in his development, and Gio has often credited him for his success. In an interview with the New York Times, Gio said, “My dad has been a huge influence on me. He’s been there since day one, and he’s always given me great advice.”
Reyna’s Youth Career
As we mentioned, Gio Reyna began his youth career with his hometown club, New York City FC. He joined the club’s academy in 2015 and played for their U-16 and U-18 teams.
Reyna’s impressive performances with the club’s youth teams caught the attention of Borussia Dortmund scouts, who signed him in 2019.
New York City FC
Reyna spent four years in the New York City FC academy, where he developed his skills and honed his craft. During his time with the club, he played in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy (DA – which no longer exists) and helped the U-16 team win the national championship in 2018.
Reyna’s father, Claudio, also played for New York City FC during his professional career.
Reyna’s move to Borussia Dortmund was a significant step in his career. He signed a long-term contract with the German club in November 2018 and joined their U-19 team.
Reyna’s breakthrough moment with Borussia Dortmund came during the 2019-20 DFB-Pokal. He became the youngest scorer in the German Cup’s history at the age of 17, netting a goal in a match against Werder Bremen.
In 2020, Reyna became the youngest Bundesliga player to achieve a hat trick of assists in a match against Freiburg.
Reyna’s youth career with New York City FC and Borussia Dortmund set the foundation for his success as a professional soccer player.
His performances with these clubs showcased his talent and potential, leading to his rise as one of the most exciting young players in the game today.
Gio Reyna’s Professional Career
Borussia Dortmund Debut
Giovanni Reyna made his professional debut for Borussia Dortmund on January 18, 2020, in a Bundesliga match against FC Augsburg. He came on as a substitute in the second half and made an immediate impact, providing an assist for Erling Haaland’s first goal in a 5-3 victory.
Reyna’s performance earned him widespread praise, and he quickly became a regular starter for Dortmund.
Since his debut, Reyna has continued to impress for Dortmund. He has been a key player for the team, contributing with goals and assists in the Bundesliga and in the UEFA Champions League.
His playmaking, positioning, and dribbling abilities have made him a team’s fan favorite, and he is widely considered one of the best young players in the world.
Reyna has also had a successful international career, representing the United States at the senior level.
He made his debut for the USMNT on November 12, 2020, in a friendly match against Wales. He became the third-youngest player to debut for the USMNT, at the age of 17 years and 66 days.
Since his debut, Reyna has been a regular for the USMNT, playing in several important matches, including World Cup qualifiers and the CONCACAF Nations League.
He has scored several goals for the national team, including a memorable strike against Mexico in the 2021 CONCACAF Nations League Final.
With his talent and potential, he is expected to continue to be a major force in both the Bundesliga and on the international stage for years to come! This is all assuming he’s stays healthy and away from controversy.
Reyna’s USMNT Controversy
During the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Reyna found himself in the middle of a well-televised controversy.
The controversy began when USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter revealed that a player had been sent home from the World Cup for lack of effort.
While Berhalter did not name the player, subsequent reports identified Reyna as the athlete in question. Reyna denied the allegations, and his father, Claudio Reyna, who is a former USMNT captain, also spoke out in his defense.
Despite the denials, the controversy continued to swirl around Reyna. Some fans and commentators criticized him for his lack of effort, while others defended him and accused Berhalter of mishandling the situation.
The controversy only intensified when Reyna saw limited playing time during the World Cup, leading some to question whether Berhalter was punishing him for the alleged lack of effort.
It was later revealed that Claudio and Danielle Reyna had raised a decades-old domestic violence allegation involving Berhalter, which led to an investigation by U.S. Soccer.
The investigation found no evidence of wrongdoing by Berhalter, but the controversy has continued to generate attention and speculation. Some have criticized the Reynas for their handling of the situation, while others have questioned Berhalter’s coaching decisions.
Despite the controversy, Reyna continued to play well for Borussia Dortmund after the World Cup.
He scored a stunning winning goal in his first game back with the team and seemed to put the controversy behind him.
However, the incident still looms large in the minds of some USMNT fans as Berhalter could come back as head coach. This may have long-term implications for Reyna’s career with the national team. Or, it could be a big lesson learned for such a talented player.
Gio’s Playing Style
Gio Reyna is a versatile attacker who can play in multiple positions. He is known for his technical ability, creativity, and vision on the ball.
Reyna is comfortable with both feet and has a good range of passing. He is also a good dribbler and can take on defenders in tight spaces as we saw in the 2023 CONCACAF Nations League Finals.
Reyna’s playing style is characterized by his ability to create chances for his teammates and himself. He has a good understanding of the game and can read the opposition’s defense well.
Reyna is also a good finisher and can score goals from many areas in the final third.
He likes to play in between the lines and create space for himself and his teammates. Reyna’s movement off the ball is also impressive, and he can make runs into the box to score goals.
Reyna’s playing style is similar to that of his father, Claudio Reyna, who was also a creative midfielder. However, Gio has a more attacking mindset and is more focused on scoring goals than his father was.
Overall, Reyna’s playing style is well-suited to modern soccer, where versatility and creativity are highly valued. He has the potential to become one of the best attacking midfielders in the world if he continues to develop his skills and remain healthy.
Awards and Achievements
Gio Reyna has already achieved a lot in his young career. He has won several awards and accolades for his performances on the field.
In 2020, Reyna won the U.S. Soccer Young Male Player of the Year Award, becoming the youngest player to ever win the award. He was recognized for his leading role with the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team during its 2018-19 cycle. Reyna was also nominated for the same award in 2018 and 2019.
Reyna’s performances with Borussia Dortmund have also earned him recognition. In his debut season with the club, he was named the Bundesliga Rookie of the Month for January 2020. He was also named the Bundesliga Rookie of the Season for the 2019-20 campaign, becoming the first American to win the award.
In addition to these individual awards, Reyna has helped his teams achieve success on the field. He played a key role in Borussia Dortmund’s run to the DFB-Pokal final in the 2020-21 season. He also helped the United States win the Concacaf Nations League in 2021 (named the tournament’s Best Player) and in 2023.
Reyna’s impressive performances have also earned him recognition from his peers. In 2021, he was named to the UEFA Champions League Breakthrough XI, which recognizes the top young players in the competition. He was also named to the Bundesliga Team of the Season for the 2020-21 campaign.