Gio Reyna makes German soccer history with golazo

In Grant Wahl's 2018 story on Claudio and Danielle Reyna and their family that lost their oldest son, Jack, to cancer at the age of 13 in 2012, Claudio, the former captain of the U.S. national team, described how their second oldest son, Gio, then 16, was different than him:

“He’s much more of an athlete than I was, much more of a goal-scorer. He’s very technical and has a good feel for the game. He has a great free kick and can strike a ball well. Danielle was a great runner -- and he’s a runner.”

Claudio's words described everything about Gio's first professional goal on Tuesday at the age 17 with one exception.

Gio's goal late in Borussia Dortmund's 3-2 loss at Werder Bremen in the German Cup's round of 16 came from the run of play, not a free kick. He squeezed past three Bremen defenders, Yuya Osako, Leonardo Bittencourt and Davy Klaassen, froze a fourth, Milos Veljkovic, and then fired a curling a right-footed chance into the upper right-hand corner of the goal leaving keeper Jiri Pavlenka with no chance.

At the age of 17 years, 2 months, 22 days, Reyna became the youngest goal-scorer in the history of the German Cup.

The game marked the fourth straight game Reyna has come off the bench since Dortmund returned from its winter break. He told Dortmund TV he was always confident about playing with older players.

"I have to play my game and be confident in myself because I know I’m capable of being here," he said. "That’s why I’m here. I need to do my thing, be creative and play the way I know how to play. I’m still so young so I know it’s going to take time. I’ve got a lot of goals coming up this season and throughout my career. This season I want to help the team in any way I can, get minutes and hopefully score my first goals, first assists. And to try to win the Bundesliga this season.”

Tuesday's loss was the first in 2020 after three wins in Bundesliga play that moved Dortmund into third place, just three points off the lead.

The Bremen game was also the fourth for Dortmund's other teenage newcomer, Erling Haaland. The Norwegian scored the other Dortmund goal to give him eight goals in four games.

17 comments about "Gio Reyna makes German soccer history with golazo".
  1. Seth Vieux, February 5, 2020 at 9:04 a.m.

    That is just awesome for a first professional goal

  2. Goal Goal, February 5, 2020 at 10:31 a.m.

    This shows what it means to play with other players that can support each other and play the game well.  Not so much with what he experienced on the U17 National Team which had so many players that should not have been there and so many players that should have been there and were bypassed due to the disorganization of US Soccer.

  3. frank schoon, February 5, 2020 at 3:20 p.m.

    That was nice a goal, not the goal itself but the 'thought' behind the goal....You saw his intention and that is what counts. The goal scored is not as important as his ongoing development in many details as a player which to me is much more important...

  4. Sean Guillory replied, February 5, 2020 at 5:58 p.m.

    Agree with Frank.  The development is key...more goals will come as he develops.

  5. Seth Vieux replied, February 5, 2020 at 6:13 p.m.

    Definitely agree Frank. His earlier opportunity that the keeper and center back snuffed out was also an excellent example to show my son on the importance of properly receiving the ball as you so frequently discuss. While usually we're talking about wingers and midfielders further back on the pitch that fail to receive the ball on their front foot for best efficiency, and that particular opportunity didn't really offer the opportunity as the pass was just a touch behind where he had to take it off his back (right) foot, it still displays how receiving the ball on your least advanced foot requires a minimum of one extra step to position yourself to make the next pass / shot. In Reyna's case on that one he did reasonably well to get the chance on it, but because he couldn't smoothly receive on his left and immediately finish he required FIVE steps in the box prior to his next touch, more than enough time for both the keeper and center back to easily close him out.

  6. frank schoon, February 5, 2020 at 8:08 p.m.

    I don't know about you guys but I was impressed with the Norwegian for Dortmund, Haaland. For a 19 year old he's so far ahead ... I miss these types of players operating at that position in today's soccer. he has no qualms taking guys on and going for goal. I just don't understand  that we can't produce players like that for what he's doing doesn't require Brazilian ball. He's like a young colt running in the field without any risk aversion.Can you imagine him coming to play in the MLS, how he would excite our fan base.   

    I would like to see an interview with his father on how he worked with him....his father played on the National team

  7. Bob Ashpole replied, February 5, 2020 at 9:20 p.m.

    Haaland has 8 goals in 4 matches.

  8. Seth Vieux replied, February 5, 2020 at 9:22 p.m.

    Frank the strength of his game so far is being what I've read the Germans call 'raumdeuters,' or 'interpreter of space.' This has always been my main strength as a player as well, and this elevated spatial awareness and ability to interpret time and space to arrive at exactly the right spot at exactly the right time has served me very well as a helicopter pilot in combat. The below link I really enjoyed when I read it quite a while back, and while my own physical athletic capabilities are from a professional level, and more in the vein of Thomas Muller, Erling Haaland adds an large, strong, and athletic body and a so far astonishing ability as a finisher to that spatial awareness.

  9. frank schoon replied, February 5, 2020 at 10:24 p.m.

    From what I've seen of him is not much but my impression of him is he is more of a breakaway runner where there is plenty of space between the last line  of defense and the goalie. I would like to see him operate against a team that plays very compact between the lines or where there is little space. I consider him to be the first stage of where American attackers should be after  50 years of soccer but unfortunately we haven't. 

    He fits in the German style of play where they have more space to operate and run.  I will be paying more attention to Dortmund. He is the kind of player Liverpool could use

  10. Bob Ashpole replied, February 6, 2020 at 12:49 a.m.

    Seth, your comment does not surprise me. I played for years with a couple of fighter pilots. Their 360 degree situational awareness was uncanny and appeared effortless for them. No doubt a soccer match is a much simpler problem for them and you. 

  11. frank schoon replied, February 6, 2020 at 6:33 a.m.

    Bob, vision as you say can definitely be of help, but anticipation, intuitive feeling for things to see and being aware of the possible options to go along with it and having the required right touch on the ball along with timing on the ball for the various or particular situations at a moment's notice is really why  the perfect athlete is by no means a 'great' or even a 'good'soccer player.   

  12. frank schoon replied, February 6, 2020 at 6:56 a.m.

    Bob, the great van Hanegem finally after retired admitted that in his three years before retiring stated he could barely see the players due to his failing eyesight and thus pleaded his doctors not to say anything. He needed  glasses to wear with the thickness of coke bottles. But somehow he remained the best player on the Dutch fields after Cruyff left Ajax to play for Barcelona. The reason Van Hanegem remained a top player with his condition is that he saw the game like Cruyff in its many variations off the ball what should possibly happens if this could happen with mind.

    This is why van Hanegem when he  trains a team he just lets them play 11v11 . And when a pass is made or for each and every pass ,he knows exactly what the other 10 players should be doing, standing and positioned on the field in relation to that pass. As a coaches he has the total awareness of the other 10 players in relation to one pass. And this why got away with his  bad eyesight in the last couple of years of playing. 

  13. Seth Vieux replied, February 6, 2020 at 10:32 a.m.

    Frank, Bob did not say vision in his comment, he said 360 degree situational awareness. It's the ability to not only see what is around you, but to track multiple things and their relative movements, speeds, headings, and likely changes based on that information. That is all what enables anticipation and having a feeling for possible options not only now, but what else may develop. And when it comes to the term 'vision' as applied to soccer and other ball sports, what people who truly understand their games know is that 'vision' isn't the basic meaning of the ability to see, but the ability to see and accurately predict the future, or most precisely, what will happen very soon.

  14. frank schoon replied, February 6, 2020 at 11:32 a.m.

    Seth,Im not an expert on this at all so I can't really give my 2cents on it. I'll leave that up to you and Bob. You mentioned about predicting the future accurately,again ,I don't know how to approach that area of thought.  I do involve myself heavily into Metaphysics which has been my second love or rather hobby, after soccer but we're going into some heavy stuff, but at least I tend to use a lot of intuition when palying and watching soccer.

  15. Seth Vieux replied, February 6, 2020 at 1:11 p.m.

    Frank I'm certain we are all talking about the same thing, an attribute or aptitude that has other applications outside of soccer, the the development of which increases ability in multiple applications. In other words someone with some elevated aptitude for it (and I count myself among them) that enhances and hones it in one activity (for me playing soccer, generally in central midfield or false 9 type roles) can apply it in another activity (for me a career flying scout/attack helicopters in combat), and that continued development of ability is then beneficial again in other activities: for sake of this discussion the experience of using and improving it continually translated back into even better application in soccer where that ability, combined with a reasonably strong touch and technical level, allows me to continually run circles around pretty decent players in their 20s even after I'm well into my 40s and running on knees with multiple surgeries. This particular thing we're talking about is an aptitude that can either be developed, exploited, and brought to increasingly higher levels, or can atrophy if not used; but I believe it is basically something that most humans do not have a strong aptitude for, so is difficult to develop to high levels for many people, though still worth developing to the extent possible in any soccer player due to its tremendous value and synergistic effect when multiple players possess the same quality. So while we may not be using the exact same words, I've read more than enough of your posts to be certain you know exactly what we're talking about.

  16. Bob Ashpole replied, February 6, 2020 at 4:34 p.m.

    In the past 20 years science has learned a great deal about the brain. In the 1970s, I used to consider pyschology as a joke science, but not anymore. For instance scientists have tied empathy to a specific type of nueron. The other discovery startling to me, is that, when heavy activity repeatedly stresses the brain, it physically adapts to promote that activity. In that respect, the brain is a muscle too. 

  17. Nick Gabris, February 7, 2020 at 12:13 p.m.

    Congrats Gio!  Looking forward to watch you play as I did watching your dad for many years.Good luck to you in your future!

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