Gio Reyna: 'American Dream' leads Dortmund youth brigade with 'brilliant' performance

Gio Reyna's opening game of the 2020-21 Bundesliga season went pretty well.

All he did in Borussia Dortmund's 3-0 win over Borussia Moenchengladbach on Saturday was ...

-- Score his first Bundesliga goal to open the scoring in the 35th minute;
-- Go down for a VAR-aided penalty that teammate Erling Haaland converted in the 54th minute;
-- Finish the game with 30-for-30 in passing.

Reyna wasn't the whole show.

Englishman Jude Bellingham, another 17-year-old player, made his Bundesliga debut and set up Reyna's goal.

Haaland, 20, scored a second goal to give him 15 goals in his first 16 Bundesliga, a record only surpassed by the legendary Uwe Seeler, who scored 16 goals in16 games in the Bundesliga's first season in 1963.

And another 20-year-old, Englishman Jadon Sancho, set up Haaland's second goal on a spectacular counterattack, finshing the play with a nifty little ball played into the area for Haaland to clincially finish off.

What did he think of his youth brigade?

''I like working with young players," said Dortmund's Swiss coach, Lucien Favre, "but, of course, I like working with experienced ones too. The variety is really good, that was there to see in our 3-0 win today. Mats [Hummels] plays the ball forward, and Jadon and Erling sprint the length of the pitch. It was a brilliant goal at the end. The variety gives us a great feeling. We're going to need all of our players over this long season.''

Reyna's performance, though, stood out.

In the French sports daily L'Equipe's review of its man of the match, it described his performance as "brilliant, staggering, impressive." Not for the first time, Haaland jokingly referred to his buddy Reyna -- they both joined the Dortmund first team at the same time in January -- the "American Dream."

Reyna's view of the opener?

''It was a very good start to the season," he said. "We have a lot of young players, it's really enjoyable. We all have so much energy, but we need to keep working, we need to improve even more. We were so happy to see that some of our fans could be there again. That's very important for us as players.''

Saturday's game marked the first Bundesliga game at the Signal Iduna Park with fans. Dortmund had permission from local authorities to open the stadium to up to 10,000 attendees.

Sept. 19 in Dortmund
Borussia Dortmund 3 Borussia Moenchengladbach 0. Goals: Reyna 35, Haaland pen. 54, 77.
Borussia Dortmund -- Burki; Can, Hummels, Akanji; Meunier, Bellingham (Delaney 67), Witsel, Hazard (Passlack 19); Sancho (Reus 79), Reyna (Brandt 79); Haaland.
Borussia Moenchengladbach -- Sommer; Lainer, Elvedi, Ginter, Wendt (Herrmann 69); Kramer, Bensebaini; Wolf (Plea 57), Neuhaus, Hofmann; Stindl (Thuram 57).
Att.: 9,300.

Photos by Kirchner-Media/Imago/Icon Sportswire

4 comments about "Gio Reyna: 'American Dream' leads Dortmund youth brigade with 'brilliant' performance".
  1. Bob Ashpole, September 20, 2020 at 6:59 a.m.

    I cringe at the idea of Gio playing away games in Concacaf qualifying. He is high school in age.

  2. Wooden Ships replied, September 20, 2020 at 1:36 p.m.

    If he gets the same lack of team support that CP did, then I'd be worried too. However, Gregiola should not call in the ones that caved in the last qualifying. We have many more skilled players today and I feel confident they can't all be abused. He's tough as CP was and even more so now. We also can't be afraid for our players as the players themselves can't be. Show up, man up. 

  3. frank schoon, September 21, 2020 at 9:26 a.m.

    Good point, Ships, about show up, man up, for I think he will have a much tougher time playing Concacaf , for that is what he needs in his development. I know SA is delirious whenever one of our boys score but that is not what I'm looking at watching him play for their is a lot more than that to the game, especially Gio's position calls for a lot more aspects than scoring, which is secondary.

    What I noticed is that Gio manner and tempo of play needs to be faster, for several times when he receives the ball he would lose it for several reasons: one, he stands and waits for the ball to come to his feet, like his father did; two, he needs to move towards the ball; three ,he needs to think a step ahead and move accordingly for otherwise he'll continue to lose the ball to a defender behind him; he needs to work on his shielding....Overal I would like to see in his practices for his coach to stick a man on him the whole practice in order to force him to increase his tempo of play and that doesn't mean running faster, but think faster, move and position better, like being able to see to see the ball and the next receiver at the same time for starts.....

  4. frank schoon replied, September 21, 2020 at 9:36 a.m.

    Furthermore, what I like to see Gio improve on is his ability to have his passes beat opponents, not these typical passes that really don't do nothing other than place the ball somewhere else. He needs to able to make passes to stations perhaps skip the nearer stations to him thereby upping the tempo of play. One of the problems of Dortmunt is historically their style relies on fast counter attacking, which is nice but it is only one aspect of attacking but there is so much more to attacking which he needs to learn....

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