Gio Reyna broke a very long personal scoreless streak on Saturday, (Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports)
By Michael Lewis
Gio Reyna dropped to the ground, not withering in pain from another but in ecstasy.
The U.S. men’s national team midfielder-forward was celebrating, celebrating his first goal, a brilliant one at that, in more than a year for Borussia Dortmund in its 5-0 triumph over Stuttgart on Saturday.
If you’re counting, it had been 421 days since he tallied a goal for the Bundesliga club – on Aug. 21, 2021.
In his third start for Dortmund and first since Sept. 14 this season, Reyna drilled a 12-yard shot from the left side of the penalty area off a feed by Youssoufa Moukoko after a nice passing sequence past goalkeeper Florian Muller into the far right corner in the 44th minute. The goal boosted Borussia’s lead to 3-0.
Reyna, 19, endured a difficult 2021-22 season for club and country as an injury he incurred during World Cup qualifying stopped him from playing regularly and finding his rhythm for both teams.
As it turned out, Reyna’s last appearance against Stuttgart ended in tears as he suffered a muscle and tendon injury just after kickoff – ending his season last April.
With the World Cup a month away and the American roster set to be unveiled at Brooklyn Steel in Brooklyn, N.Y. on Nov. 9, U.S. head coach Gregg Berhalter had to be encouraged by Reyna’s performance and goal, as he is looking for players in form and with confidence.
No doubt Reyna’s confident was boosted by a mile on Saturday.