USMNT boss Anthony Hudson explains why he was 'concerned' for Gio Reyna before Grenada win & explains position change

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Gio Reyna 2022-23
USMNT interim coach Anthony Hudson explained why he deployed Gio Reyna in midfield and why he was a bit worried about him pregame.
  • Reyna started in midfield
  • Hudson praised 20-year-old's attitude and approach
  • USMNT smashed Grenada for seven

WHAT HAPPENED? Reyna started and played 64 minutes in the 7-1 win, putting in a fairly pedestrian performance in his first game since the World Cup. Reyna featured in the central midfield area against Grenada, although the game was largely played out on the wings, with the hosts bunkered in to face wave after wave of U.S. pressure.

Overall, Hudson says he was pleased with how Reyna handled his game, and everything that came with it, although the coach did admit that he was worried with how the Borussia Dortmund star would cope with the field conditions in Grenada.

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WHAT THEY SAID: "We wanted to give him a little bit more freedom," Hudson said. "I think when when you see Gio receiving the ball in between the midfield and the defensive line facing forward, he's an amazing, incredible, dangerous player.

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"Now that said, I thought he played really well tonight, but I was concerned. In training, he was outstanding. He really was. He's been brilliant every day, but then I just felt when we got on the field last night, part of me felt this type of field might be tough for Gio because he likes to turn and likes to dribble. We wanted to set him up to do well, but he did do well and we're pleased for him. He's had a really good week, given the fact that he's a young kid and he's been through a lot."

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THE BIGGER PICTURE: The return to the national team is a positive step for Reyna, who has earned nothing but praise from his team-mates since re-joining the team. Putting the World Cup, and everything that came with it, behind him will be a process, but it seems Reyna is well on his way to becoming a key piece of the U.S. team after seeing his role reduced in Qatar.


Gio Reyna USMNT 2022

Anthony Hudson USMNT 2023

WHAT NEXT FOR USMNT? Reyna could feature once again on Monday when the U.S. play host to El Salvador know that a draw will be enough to see them advance in the Nations League.