Gio Reyna certainly had the flair for the dramatic on Sunday. (USA TODAY Sports)
By Michael Lewis
Gio Reyna didn’t get much of an opportunity to show what he could do in last month’s World Cup.
On Sunday, he demonstrated some of what sort of damage he could accomplish on a soccer pitch.
Only eight minutes after coming on, the U.S. men’s national team midfielder scored a spectacular game-winning goal in the 78th minute for Borussia Dortmund in its 4-3 triumph over Augsburg as the Bundesliga resumed on Sunday.
On the right flank, the 20-year-old Reyna received the ball at the corner of the box and powered the ball into the far side of the net.
Reyna then ran toward the corner flag to celebrate. He then put his fingers in his ears to block out the noise.
GIO REYNA GOLAZO TO GIVE DORTMUND A 4-3 LEAD! 🚀 pic.twitter.com/3PpTXUV2q6
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) January 22, 2023
The noise, of course, came after the World Cup in a soap opera controversy for the ages.
During the World Cup, USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter told Reyna that he wasn’t going to see much action in Qatar. Reyna did not start and was used as a substitute.
Reyna’s mother, the former Danielle Egan, who played for the North Babylon Strikers (Long Island Junior Soccer League) complained to U.S. Soccer sporting director Earnie Stewart and relayed to him about an incident in which Berhalter had kicked his future wife, Rosalind Santana while the two were dating at the University of North Carolina 31 years ago. Danielle Reyna and Rosalind were close friends from their youth soccer days and were roommates in college.
Upon returning to the United States after the Americans were eliminated by the Netherlands in the Round of 16, Berhalter told a symposium that he and the staff considered sending a player home. He did not reveal who the player was. What Berhalter had said at the event was not supposed to be on the record, but the organization mistakenly put it out for public consumption.
Eventually, the media ascertained it was Reyna, who is the son of former U.S. men’s international Claudio Reyna.
In the aftermath, Berhalter was put under investigation by U.S. Soccer for the incident. Since his contract expired on Dec. 31 and his future with U.S. Soccer unsettled, Anthony Hudson will coach the Americans in a pair of friendlies in southern California next week. The U.S. hosts Serbia at BMO Stadium in Los Angeles on Wednesday night and then Colombia in Carson, Calif. Next Saturday.