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Great to be back! Gio Reyna leaves injury nightmare behind just in time for USMNT World Cup dream

5:28 am AEST 13/9/22
Gio Reyna USMNT 2022
Gio Reyna might be American soccer's most talented player, and he's ready to prove it in Qatar.

From memorable goals to otherworldly dribbles, Reyna is the kind of player who instantly catches your attention when he is on the field, regardless of the opposition.

And so, with the attention of scouts rarely wavering, the U.S. men's national team star was always destined for the top levels of the game - as long as he stayed healthy.

But keeping on the field has been a struggle for the attacker over the past couple of years, as serious injuries have hampered his development.

With the World Cup looming, though, Reyna is back contributing to Borussia Dortmund, and his return couldn't come at a better time for the USMNT.

Here's a look at his journey to this point, and the reasons why national team head coach Gregg Berhalter is so happy to have him.

  • Claudio Reyna USA 07172006

    Son of a legend

    Playing for the U.S. is in Reyna's blood.

    His father, Claudio, is a USMNT icon, having earned 112 caps throughout his illustrious career. His mother, Danielle Egan, was a member of the U.S. women's national team, earning six caps of her own.

    Reyna was actually born in Sunderland while his dad played overseas, but he still felt destined to be a member of the Stars and Stripes like his parents.

  • Gio Reyna NYCFC

    Academy roots

    With his father in charge at NYCFC, Reyna joined the club's academy in 2015.

    He spent four years with NYCFC, emerging as the brightest youngster in their setup before heading to Borussia Dortmund.

    The club's pipeline didn't end with Reyna, though, as his former teammate and good friend, Joe Scally, ended up earning a move to Borussia Monchengladbach.

  • 20200105_Giovanni Reyna_Dortmund

    Dortmund bound

    Reyna followed in the footsteps of Christian Pulisic by moving to Borussia Dortmund.

    Pulisic, of course, used the Bundesliga club as a jumping off point for an eventual transfer to Chelsea.

    Just 16 years old, Reyna was able to move abroad due to a Portuguese passport earned through his paternal grandmother's ties to the country.

    He joined up with the club's Under-19s, but he wasn't outside of the senior team for long.

  • Reyna Dortmund slide

    First-team breakthrough

    Reyna made his Bundesliga debut in January 2020, coming on as a substitute against Augsburg.

    As a result, he became the youngest American to play in Germany's top flight, beating the mark previously held by Pulisic.

    He scored his first goal against Werder Bremen a few weeks later.

  • Reyna Haaland PSG 2022

    A budding partnership

    After making his Bundesliga debut, Reyna became the third-youngest player to ever play in a Champions League knockout game when he suiteddup against PSG.

    It was a memorable night for more than that, though, as Reyna set up Erling Haaland's game-winning goal in the 76th minute.

    That was the start of a beautiful relationship between two of the Bundesliga's top young stars.

  • Reyna Haaland Borussia Dortmund

    The American Dream is born

    It was Haaland who nicknamed Reyna, dubbing the American teenager "the American Dream" before his debut season even concluded.

    In May 2020, Haaland told ESPN: "He's 17-and-a-half soon, so at such a young age to be so calm on the ball and play for such a big team, it's very fascinating to see how calm he is and he doesn't care about anything, he just jumps right into it.

    "He's a top talent, and we're lucky to have him here. The American Dream, I call him that."

    Reyna went on to make 18 appearances in that first season, setting a foundation with one of Europe's top developers of young talent in Dortmund.

  • Reyna USMNT 2020

    USMNT breakthrough

    Already a regular in the Bundesliga, Reyna received his first call-up to the USMNT in November 2020 for matches against Wales and Panama.

    He debuted in that Wales fixture before scoring his first goal against Panama directly from a free kick.

    Reyna was eligible for England, Portugal and Argentina, but his future, inevitably, was with the Stars and Stripes.

  • Reyna 2020 Dortmund

    A big step forward

    Reyna made another leap in the 2020-21 season as he scored his first Bundesliga goal in September against Gladbach.

    Two weeks later, in his third league appearance, Reyna provided three assists in a 4-0 win over Freiburg, becoming the youngest player to ever have a hat-trick of assists in the Bundesliga.

    Dortmund went on to win the DFB-Pokal at the end of the season, with Reyna scoring seven times in 46 appearances across all competitions.

  • Reyna injury Dortmund 2022

    Injury hell

    The 2021-22 season was supposed to be the one that saw Reyna truly break out and become world class.

    Instead, it was an injury-filled nightmare.

    He missed five months after suffering a hamstring injury in the USMNT's first World Cup qualifier, making his return with Dortmund on February 6 after missing nearly all of the USMNT's pursuit of a spot in Qatar.

    But he lasted just half an hour before exiting the field in tears with another injury.

  • Reyna Mexico USMNT 2022


    Reyna returned to the field towards the end of World Cup qualifying, producing one of the USMNT's most memorable moments of their run.

    Playing in the Estadio Azteca against Mexico, Reyna went on a Maradona-esque run, weaving through several El Tri defenders without any sort of help from teammates.

    Reyna was eventually stopped, but what a glimpse it was into what Reyna could be when at his best.

  • Reyna Panama 2022 USMNT

    World Cup bound

    Even with Reyna sidelined for most of the qualifying run, the USMNT did book their spot in Qatar.

    They finished behind Canada and Mexico in the CONCACAF Octagonal, but it didn't matter much as the U.S. will still return to the World Cup for the first time since 2014.

    Reyna will most certainly be a key part, as he follows in the footsteps of his father, who played in four World Cups.

  • Gio Reyna Jude Bellingham Dortmund 2022-23

    Gio's back!

    Dortmund have eased Reyna back into the lineup to start the 2022-23 season, using him primarily off the bench.

    And he came off the bench to change the game on September 6 in the club's Champions League opener against FC Copenhagen.

    Reyna had a pair of assists in the 3-0 win, sending an emphatic message to all of those watching on: Gio's back.