Gio Reyna is first US World Cup player who had both parents play for national team
The 20-year-old midfielder talked about how soccer is in his family DNA and why he rejected the chance to represent Argentina, England and Portugal.
Gio Reyna has just turned 20 years old, days before making his World Cup debut with the United States men’s national team against Wales on 21 November. The Borussia Dortmund ace made his first appearance with the USMNT two years ago and he explained why he rejected the chance to represent Argentina, England and Portugal at the international level.
“I had the opportunity to play for other national teams, but from the beginning I knew I wanted to represent the United States. It is flattering that other teams show interest in you and yeah they contacted me, but for me the only option was the United States,” said Reyna during Wednesday’s press conference held in Doha, Qatar.
Soccer is in the DNA of the Reyna family
Gio was born to former United States internationals Claudio Reyna and Danielle Egan. His father made four World Cup appearances with the USMNT and played for several clubs in Europe, including Manchester City. Meanwhile, his mother won four national championships and made six appearances for the United States women’s national team in her playing career. Gio explained how important his parents were while he was growing up and developing as a player at a very young age.
“She won four national championships. So I think when you mentioned my dad, you definitely got to mention my mom, too,” said Reyna on Wednesday. “And in terms of where I got my ability from. So she’s yeah, she’s been so helpful and it’s yeah, it’s cool to see this, obviously.”
“I guess I got the best athleticism and I’d like to say I got my dad’s touch and technical ability. In terms of controlling the ball and you know how we dribbled and how we kind of got around the field in a way, I think we have a lot of similarities, but I think my mom was more of the beast athlete, so I think I got the best of both.
“It’s cool. It’s similar kind of career paths. He obviously started in Germany, too, when he was 20 or 21. I’m not sure how old he was. I hopefully will play a lot more than he did in his first World Cup. To be the first father, mother and son trio to have all played for the senior national team is really cool.”
Reyna has completed a special footballing triangle by becoming the first United States World Cup player who had both of his parents play for the senior team. He arrives at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in peak form after overcoming a string of injuries towards the end of last season and is expected to start against Wales in the USMNT’s opening game in the tournament.