Generation Next: Bryan Reynolds, FC Dallas Wing/Forward

Nov 8, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; A general view of the FC Dallas logo before the match between FC Dallas and the Seattle Sounders FC in the MLS Playoffs at Toyota Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 8, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; A general view of the FC Dallas logo before the match between FC Dallas and the Seattle Sounders FC in the MLS Playoffs at Toyota Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

Bryan Reynolds has been a star in the FC Dallas academy, as well as turning heads with his youth national team play for the United States. It is those performances that earned him the opportunity to play for his hometown club.

FC Dallas has been at the forefront in the development of homegrown players in MLS, and their academy continues to churn out players who can be a success at the MLS level. Recent homegrown signing Bryan Reynolds is another in the line of up-and-coming starlets for FC Dallas. He also may just be one of the most naturally gifted.

At only 15 years old, Reynolds became the youngest signing in FCD history when he put pen to paper in November. Born in Fort Worth Texas, he has grown up with the club.

Reynolds comes from a solid soccer bloodline. His father was a youth national team player and spent four years playing collegiality at SMU in Dallas. Despite being there throughout, even the elder Reynolds has to be a bit surprised at the tremendous potential his son has shown.

At 6’3″, Reynolds uses his long strides to quickly take space on the wing. His height disguises his speed as it does not look like he is moving fast until he has blown by the nearest defender. He boasts good touch and is comfortable taking defenders one-on-one. It is the combination of both physical make up and skill that makes him such an intriguing prospect.

Reynolds currently plays on the wing, but there are those who feel his long term outlook is as a forward. While his speed and quickness make him dangerous from the outside, his height and finishing provides the foundation for a potential target man as well.

The expectations for Bryan’s potential is as high as any American youth coming through the ranks. His ceiling is that of an impact player on both the club and international level. Even if he does not reach those heights, he still ranks as a difference maker on the club level, as well as a national team caliber contributor.

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If he remains on the wing, Reynolds skill set compares to former Arsenal great Robert Pires. Pires was tall and rangy with excellent speed and control. He was able to create for teammates by dribble or pass. He was also a very dangerous scoring threat. Comfortable cutting in from the wing to unleash an accurate shot, Pires was a versatile player.

Reynolds has shown that type of versatility in his game. He creates havoc coming from the outside, and while willing to share the ball, has an eye for goal.

A position shift to a more central striker role is another avenue his skill set could call for. His current height already makes him a threat on crosses. At his age, he could still grow another inch or two. This would give him the opportunity to be dangerous on set pieces and corners.

If his height remains stable, Reynolds will still be a very flexible attacker. He could play a deeper role holding the ball up with his skill. He could also be more of a direct striker using his speed to get behind defenses. Part of the excitement about his potential is his talents fit multiple tactics.

As a striker, his speed and frame is reminiscent of former Juventus front man David Trezeguet. One that can latch onto through balls behind the defense, or rise above and head one home from a cross.

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ETA and Conclusion

A reasonable expectation for Reynolds is he is still a season or two from seeing significant time for the first team. Dallas has been good about not rushing their prospects, and Bryan will be no different. With his 16th birthday still six months away, expect to see him make the bench for some Open Cup matches this season. If he proves his wares in training, he may become a depth option later this season.

Expect him to make himself a permanent name in the lineup by the kickoff of the 2019 season. This will give him time to adjust to the physical nature of the MLS game. It will also give his body time to develop more strength to handle those challenges. Overall, Reynolds is a high end prospect. If he makes good on even a portion of his potential, FCD will have an exciting player for fans to enjoy.

Next: MLS Opening Weekend: Top six exciting match-ups from Week 1

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