Seventeen-year-old Giovanni Reyna has appeared in each of Borussia Dortmund’s past 11 matches, one short of the number Christian Pulisic achieved with the club in his age-16 season in Dortmund. And compatriot and fellow Bundesliga standout Tyler Adams views Reyna as being as gifted as Pulisic among the U.S.’s most talented players.
Reyna made his breakthrough with the Black and Yellow first team earlier this spring, making headlines with a wonderstrike in the DFB-Pokal last month — becoming the youngest player to ever score in the competition. Adams sees parallels with another teenager who made a name for himself at the Westfalenstadion before stamping his authority on the national team: Pulisic.
“I think his ease with the ball [makes him special]. He’s a player that, personally, for me, you have players like Christian [Pulisic], you have players like Weston [McKennie], and then you have players like Gio, who make everything look easy,” Adams told ESPN’s Herculez Gomez. “Those are the players that you just enjoy playing with because you can give them the ball in tough spots, you know he’s going to deal with it, you know he’s going to make things happen.
“He just goes about his business, he’s not bothered by anything.”
The Dortmund prodigy’s meteoric rise since the calendar turned to 2020 has seen him gain notoriety in soccer circles in his home country. U.S. men’s national team Gregg Berhalter said late last month that he intended to call up Reyna for the international friendlies that were scheduled to take place this month prior to the coronavirus pandemic pausing the vast majority of competitions.
Reyna last played internationally in November, when he represented the U.S. at the U17 World Cup in Brazil. Leapfrogging multiple levels of youth competitions at international play has raised the question of whether a senior international appearance would be too much too soon for the teenager, but Adams dismisses it out of hand, labeling the notion “crazy.”
“It is crazy to me [that people question Reyna joining the national team], because in my eyes, it’s not based off of age, it can’t be based off of age, it’s based off of getting your best players into the pool as quickly as possible, getting them experience,” Adams said. “It’s only going to make him better, it’s only going to give him more experiences playing at that kind of level.
“The kid is making it look seamless receiving the ball in tight spaces against PSG, I’m sure he’s going to be able to receive a ball from one of our players against a top national team.”