Gio Reyna compares favourably to fellow USMNT star Christian Pulisic in the early stages of his Borussia Dortmund career. - © DFL
Gio Reyna compares favourably to fellow USMNT star Christian Pulisic in the early stages of his Borussia Dortmund career. - © DFL
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Gio Reyna and Christian Pulisic: how do the two American prodigies compare 25 games into their Borussia Dortmund careers?

The upcoming presidential election isn't the only debate raging across America right now. Gio Reyna's emergence as bona-fide first-teamer at Borussia Dortmund has USMNT fans asking: how does the 17-year-old compare to Christian Pulisic at the same 25-game juncture? bundesliga.com has the answers...

Two hundred and seventy-six days separate Reyna's professional debut in Dortmund colours, and the Matchday 5 Revierderby against Schalke which is set to be his 25th senior outing for the club he joined as a 16-year-old in summer 2019. In that eye-catching period, he has produced three goals and seven assists, turning heads on both sides of the pond.

"In training, you can see that he has something special. If you can't see that, you're blind," said BVB boss Lucien Favre. Well, Lucien, everyone can certainly see it clearly now.

Watch: Gio Reyna, the Revierderby rookie

A maiden Bundesliga outing in which Reyna became the youngest American to appear in German top flight, breaking the previous best - held by Pulisic - set the tone. Taking to the field as a substitute in Dortmund's 5-3 win over Augsburg on 18 January 2020, he was a tender 17 years and 66 days old; Pulisic had made his bow at a slightly less youthful 17 years and 134 days.

Reyna proceeded to eclipse Pulisic as the youngest BVB player to feature in the UEFA Champions League, and the greenest American to play and set up a goal in the tournament's history. Pulisic made his competition bow four days shy of his 18th birthday.

All told, Reyna had one goal and two assists in 18 competitive appearances to show for his first half season with the pros, successfully building on the eight goals and eight assists in his 16 outings across the Bundesliga U19 West, UEFA Youth League and DFB Youth Cup.

Reyna has struck up a great understanding with Erling Haaland (r.) in the Borussia Dortmund side. - DFL

Having been involved in 11 goals is as many U19 games, Pulisic tallied two in 12 for the seniors during the 2015/16 Rückrunde, chalking up his first at the ninth attempt. Reyna landed his on his fourth senior appearance - in a DFB Cup last-16 defeat to Werder Bremen.

Despite arriving in Germany almost a year later than his predecessor and without the transitional benefit of the run-up with the club's U17s Pulisic enjoyed, Reyna was already shaping up to be ahead of the curve. His explosive start to 2020/21 confirms that theory.

Pulisic scored his first Bundesliga goal aged 17 years 212 days - only five younger players had ever found the net in the German top flight - though Reyna was not far behind: his Matchday 1 strike in the win over Borussia Mönchengladbach came at 17 years and 311 days.

That does not make the English-born prodigy the youngest scorer in the division this season - that honour goes to Bayern Munich's Jamal Musiala so far - but Reyna's strike was still historic on a league-wide level.

Given it was set up by Jude Bellingham, another 17-year-old, it was the youngest assist-goalscorer combination ever in Germany's top flight.

"I never really thought about it but now that I think about it, two 17-year-olds that should be the youngest goal ever, so yeah that's cool," Reyna told bundesliga.com.

Neither Christian Pulisic (l.) nor Weston McKennie scored in a Revierderby while at Borussia Dortmund and Schalke respectively. - 2019 DFL

In his opening 19 league games, Pulisic netted four goals while Reyna has just the one, but the pair run neck-and-neck in terms of assists with four each in the same timeframe.

And Reyna does have one over on his compatriot: he teed up the first three Dortmund goals in the Matchday 3 win against Freiburg. Since the start of data collection in 1992/93, it's a feat no other 17-year-old has managed, and he became the first Dortmund player to do so since captain Marco Reus in December 2016.

Not that the youngster is letting his super-talented feet leave the ground: "Every time [you set a record] is cool but I'm staying focused on what is most important."

Watch: A tactical look at how the Revierderby could be won and lost

In the current season, only Bayern's pass-master Thomas Müller, who set a new Bundesliga assists record in 2019/20, has more assists than Reyna, who boasts better stats than Pulisic in other areas too when comparing their first 19 league appearances.

Reyna's pass completion is Patrick Mahomes-esque with just 13.4 per cent of his attempts to find a teammate not picking out their intended target, Pulisic stood at a more erratic 21.2 per cent. Reyna also wins more challenges, 50.4 per cent to 46.9, and covers a lot more ground: 7.8 miles per 90 minutes compared to a fraction over seven for Pulisic.

The next step for Gio is to emulate father Claudio and make his full USMNT debut. - imago images

Reyna probably would not describe that as "important", though there is one US-first he would love to claim for himself on Matchday 5 against Dortmund's derby rivals, Schalke.

"Christian and Weston [McKennie] have never scored [in the Revierderby]? That's surprising, I thought Christian would have scored," he told bundesliga.com.

"To be the first American to score in this derby would be cool, I'm surprised to hear that neither of them had scored so hopefully I can score, but the most important thing is to get the win."