On Tuesday night, Borussia Dortmund prospect Giovanni Reyna made his Champions League debut against Paris Saint-Germain. It is time for Gregg Berhalter to call him up to the USMNT.
The Champions League is the height of world soccer. You can hear the theme music reverberating around every time the very name of the competition is ushered. And for that reason, for the U.S Men’s National Team, Tuesday was a great day.
German giants Borussia Dortmund faced off against Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of their Round of 16 tie. Dortmund fans went home happy as they defeated PSG 2-1.
While Erling Braut Haaland grabbed all the headlines for his goalscoring exploits, from an American perspective, the biggest development from the evening was the second-half introduction of Giovanni Reyna, who made his Champions League debut in one of the most pressurized situations in world football.
Reyna became the youngest American to play in a Champions League game. But he wasn’t done there. He provided a lovely assist for Erling Haaland’s second goal to become the youngest American to assist in a Champions League game. It was a great move by Reyna, who shuttled the ball wide, received it back, and then quickly fed Haaland, who duly blasted a shot by Keylor Navas.
USMNT fans should be excited to see a young talent make an impact on one of soccer’s biggest stages. If this is what Reyna is doing at 17, imagine what he can do as he enters his prime.
Reyna is truly making significant strides at Dortmund. He has now made five Bundesliga appearances and one appearance in the DFB Pokal, in which he scored a screamer, wriggling free of two defenders and curling a long-range effort into the top corner. This was the goal that put his name on the senior football map.
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At this point, Reyna needs to start playing with the USMNT. Gregg Berhalter may love his MLS players but he needs to incorporate the talent playing over in Europe, and Reyna is chief among the young Americans beginning to make strides across the pond.
Soon, the qualifying cycle for the 2022 World Cup will begin. The United States are also looking to play in the Olympics, which seems like a perfect opportunity for Reyna to develop international experience.
With his play at Dortmund, Reyna has proved that he is capable of playing at the level required of the USMNT, even at such a young age. And with other young stars from the Bundesliga featuring extensively for Berhalter, including Weston McKennie, Christian Pulisic, Tyler Adams, there is plenty of support for Reyna’s explosive career trajectory.
Giovanni Reyna does not seem to be a splash in the pan. He is a player who can make an impact on the domestic and international level for years to come. So all aboard the hype train, because it is time to see Reyna for the USMNT.