Gio Reyna explains how he made Borussia Dortmund’s first team
The American footballer arrived in the Bundesliga in 2019 after spending four years with New York City Football Club’s academy in Major League Soccer.
Giovanni Reyna is one of the most promising young talents as we look ahead to the next season of the Bundesliga and has already scored two goals, which came during Borussia Dortmund’s most recent friendly game. The American footballer was interviewed by Sports Illustrated where he talked, among other things, about how he arrived in Germany and ended up playing for Dortmund’s first team last year.
Mentally strong at 17-years-old
Reyna said that being mentally strong is very important at a young age if you want to succeed as a footballer.
“For me, when I first came [to Dortmund] last season, it was more just about, ‘How can I get to the first team as quickly as possible?’ Because that was the main goal. It wasn’t playing for the U-19s, no knock on those kids. But I didn’t want to play there.”
On 18 January 2020, Reyna made his Bundesliga debut for Borussia Dortmund, coming on as a substitute in the 72nd minute in a 5–3 win against FC Augsburg. He became the youngest American, aged 17 years and 66 days, ever to appear in the Bundesliga, breaking a record previously set by Christian Pulisic.
The 17-year-old played a total 343 minutes last season, across a total of 15 Bundesliga games, making the starting XI twice. Dortmund manager Sebastian Kehl used Gio Reyna as an explosive sub last season and now that he has proved that he is capable of playing in the first team, the American footballer’s objective for this campaign is to be a regular starter.
“Last summer, I was happy just to have a good impression with the first team. Dortmund gives young players all the experiences they need. And then it's almost like when they're ready, they kind of just let them loose and then show the world what they can do,” Reyna said.