US teenager Giovanni Reyna has a very bright future ahead of him, according to Borussia Dortmund teammate Erling Haaland.
Reyna, 17, made his long-awaited first Bundesliga start on Matchday 33, teeing up Haaland for one of two goals in the 2-0 win at RB Leipzig that secured Dortmund a second successive runners-up spot behind champions Bayern Munich.
Haaland, who made his Bundesliga debut at the same time as Reyna back in January, believes the youngster is made of all the right stuff.
“I called him ‘the American dream’ before,” Haaland told bundesliga.com of Reyna after taking his Bundesliga tally to 13 goals in 14 games. “He’s 17 years old, and what he’s doing on the pitch today is amazing. He has a huge future in front of him.”
Watch: Erling Haaland on Gio ‘the American dream’ Reyna
Reyna was promoted to the Dortmund senior side during the 2019/20 winter break, after registering four goals and seven assists in 12 outings for the U19s.
Like January signing Haaland, the 17-year-old took his Bundesliga bow from the bench in the Matchday 18 win at Augsburg on 18 January, becoming the youngest American debutant in German top-flight history, and fifth youngest to appear for Dortmund in all competitions
He scored his maiden professional goal in the DFB Cup last-16 loss to Werder Bremen on 4 February, before usurping former BVB star Christian Pulisic not only as the youngest Dortmund player to feature in the UEFA Champions League, but the greenest American to play and assist a goal in the tournament, thanks to his cute pass for Haaland in the Black-Yellows’ last-16 first leg victory over Paris Saint-Germain.
Watch: Gio Reyna reflects on his full Bundesliga debut
After an injury sustained in the warm-up denied him a place in the starting XI for Dortmund’s Revierderby meeting with local rivals Schalke on Matchday 26, Reyna was delighted to finally get the chance to make his mark from the off at Leipzig’s Red Bull Arena.
“It was my first start, which I was really happy with,” Reyna told bundesliga.com. “It was a big three points to secure second place, so we’re all really happy.”
Reyna – whose father, Claudio, made 74 Bundesliga appearances during spells with Bayer Leverkusen and Wolfsburg between 1997 and 1999 – will hope to make his second successive start when Dortmund round out their 2019/20 campaign at home to Hoffenheim on 27 May.
The New York City FC academy product – who has turned out 17 times in a Dortmund shirt since being promoted to the pro team in January 2020 – was supposed to receive his first senior international call-up from USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter in March, but friendlies against Wales and the Netherlands were cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Although the 32-time US youth international could theoretically still represent Argentina because of his father’s parentage, England as his place of birth and Portugal because he holds a Portuguese passport, his heart is set on playing for the Stars and Stripes.
“It’s very clear for me: I will only play for the United States, that’s my home,” he told Ruhr Nachrichten earlier in 2020.