Why Gio Reyna hasn’t found his USMNT, Borussia Dortmund form

Meet Gio Reyna, the enigmatic player who holds immense potential for the US Men’s National Team (USMNT). While his true identity remains a mystery, Reyna has the power to revolutionize American soccer.

To most USMNT fans, Reyna represents the pinnacle of the team’s capabilities. Imagining what could have unfolded in Qatar had Reyna been injury-free and in harmony with the manager is a tantalizing thought.

While players like Christian Pulisic and Tyler Adams excel due to their athleticism and ability to cover vast grounds, Reyna offers a different dynamic. He embodies the role of a playmaker who can control the game, maneuver past defenders effortlessly, and deliver killer passes. This style of American soccer is unprecedented and exists only in our imaginations.

Within the soccer world, including his current club team, Reyna is more of a projection than an established player. He is a highly promising talent in a fiercely competitive landscape. Since spectators returned to the stands, Reyna, at 20 years old, has started 10 games for Borussia Dortmund.

In reality, none of us truly know who Gio Reyna is because we rarely get to witness his performances. Injuries plague him, hindering his progress and preventing him from reaching his full potential.

In May 2021, Reyna seemed destined to become the next big thing at Borussia Dortmund. Alongside Erling Haaland, Jadon Sancho, and Jude Bellingham, Reyna stood out. He outperformed Bellingham, scoring more goals and creating more assists. Reyna’s playing time and achievements pointed to a bright future.

However, injuries derailed his progress. Despite Camavinga, Bellingham, Wirtz, and Pedri also facing injury setbacks, they have managed to accumulate significantly more minutes compared to Reyna. At present, Reyna ranks 16th in minutes played among players aged 20 and under.

Injuries have handicapped Reyna in multiple ways. He frequently misses games due to unavailability and struggles to regain full fitness. Even when he is fit, other Dortmund players often supersede him in the lineup due to consistent training and match performances.

Throughout his budding professional career, Reyna has already missed 67 games due to injuries. In contrast, other talented players like Camavinga and Bellingham have experienced significantly fewer injury setbacks. Although injuries are not the sole reason for Reyna’s lack of playing time, they certainly contribute to it.

So, who is Gio Reyna when he does get to play? In his consistent season as a starter, Reyna’s playing style aligned with the “dribbler” role, as analyzed by the DAVIES model. He excelled in beating defenders, creating scoring opportunities, and functioning as both a direct dribbler and progressive forward.

Last season, Reyna significantly increased his shots per 90 minutes and non-penalty expected goals (xG) rate. Although his goals slightly exceeded his xG, Reyna’s xG-per-90 rate places him in the 95th percentile among attacking midfielders and wingers in Europe’s top leagues.

However, the statistical analysis of Reyna’s performance is disparaged by his inconsistent playing time. Without regular appearances, it is difficult to draw definitive conclusions about his abilities. Reyna’s career is marked by sporadic opportunities and small sample sizes.

Nonetheless, when we examine his accumulated Bundesliga minutes over the past four seasons, certain strengths emerge. According to Soccerment, Reyna ranks in the 91st percentile for open-play expected assists and in the 94th percentile for the expected threat created from carries. These statistics indicate his potential as a playmaker.

Gio Reyna remains an enigmatic figure in the world of soccer. Though injuries have impeded his progress, glimpses of his talent showcase his ability to influence games through dribbling and creative playmaking. Unlocking Reyna’s full potential will require consistent playing time and the opportunity to shine on the field.


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