Borussia Dortmund youngster, Gio Reyna, is preparing for a crucial week
The teenager is all set to start in Saturday’s crucial game between Borussia Dortmund and Bundesliga reigning champions Bayern Munich, apart from making his US National Team debut next week.
Slowly but surely, Gio Reyna has been making his way up the ladder in the footballing world. First, it was breaking into the Borussia Dortmund starting 11 and then becoming a regular starter for the German giants. He faces an all-important clash against the German champions over the weekend, before flying to Wales where he is expected to make his US National Team debut and establish himself as American soccer’s next big thing.
All of this comes with a lot of pressure, part of it due to his famous last name. His father Claudio Reyna also was a Bundesliga regular having played for Bayer Leverkusen and Wolfsburg, apart from stints at Manchester City and Sunderland in the Premier League.
On Saturday he will be a part of probably the biggest match of his life so far, a clash against Bayern Munich which has been labeled as Der Klassiker in recent years. It is still very early on the season but Borussia Dortmund have a chance to stamp their authority and go top of the table, provided they win the game. The Signal Iduna Park though will be unusually quiet, with no fans in attendance due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Bayern finished 13 points ahead of Die Borussen last season, convincingly beating them 4-0 at home before narrowly edging them 1-0 in the return fixture.
This season though, Dortmund have hope as they have a lot of firepower of their own. They have a plethora of young talent such as Erling Haaland who is arguably the best young striker in Europe right now, and Jadon Sancho who ended up staying at BVB despite all the speculation and rumors linking him to Manchester United this summer.
And of course, there’s Reyna who is determined to stamp his mark during the game and help the team overcome the Bavarian outfit. In an interview with Dortmund local news outlet Ruhr Nachrichten, he said “We’re not going into the season expecting Bayern to be champions. We expect to become champions. And I think our chances are pretty good”
So far he has backed up his claims. He scored a goal in Dortmund’s opener against Gladbach, and also recorded three assists in a 4-0 win against Freiburg, in turn becoming the youngest Bundesliga player to achieve that feat in a single game.
He has also started in their last two Champions League wins against Zenit and Club Brugge. The triumphs have significantly boosted their chances for qualification to the round of 16. While Champions League success would no mean feat, Dortmund’s primary aim is still to overcome Bayern’s dominance and clinch the Bundesliga title.
About the game he said
I’ve been a part of two Klassikers so far and they’ve both been really tight games with a lot of quality on both sides. I think both teams know that whenever they play each other it’s going to be a battle and we both want to win so badly.
“It’s going to be a tight game and I think we’re going to have to have a really good game to beat them because they won the Champions League and are a top team. But in the last game, they barely beat us, so I think we’re definitely right there and can beat them next time”
“It’s really, really important I think because a team like Bayern rarely slips up, so we just need to try to take as many points as we can from every game. Obviously to take three from them would be a huge plus for us.”
Regarding his US National team debut, much of the discussion has been not about whether he’ll play but about where he will play in the team. He is very versatile, so he is expected to either start on the wing alongside Christian Pulisic, or in the number 10 role behind the striker.
The US National Team Manager Gregg Berhalter has generally gone with a 4-3-3 formation meaning that he is expected to start on the wing. However, he’s more concerned about the youngster getting game time. He said
“We’re going to put him on the field to do that. I don’t think it’s really important to get specific about where; I think it’s what he’s doing on the field. We want him making goals and assists.”
The US Team is slowly but surely building a young core of players such as Pulisic and Reyna that should be the mainstay of the team for years to come.
Reyna is Dortmund’s lottery ticket. He posses a good combination of pace, skill, and most importantly works very hard every day on the pitch and in the training ground.
In the coming days, he faces what could potentially be a game-changing week for him, for club and country.
Image Credit – Borussia Dortmund Facebook