Borussia Dortmund youngster Gio Reyna (l.) has piqued the interest of USA coach Greg Berhalter (r.). - © imago images
Borussia Dortmund youngster Gio Reyna (l.) has piqued the interest of USA coach Greg Berhalter (r.). - © imago images
bundesliga

"Gio Reyna excites me!" - USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter

USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter called up five Bundesliga players to his September roster, but is already looking forward to the day he can bring Borussia Dortmund’s 16-year-old prodigy, Gio Reyna, into the fold.

Reyna, who joined Dortmund’s U19s in the summer, is widely seen as the most exciting player his country has produced since former BVB star Christian Pulisic.

The teenager has so far represented the USA U15s, 16s and U17s and, despite still being a couple of months shy of his 17th birthday, has even trained with the U23 section.

Reyna also impressed on Dortmund’s pre-season US tour, while he has one goal and four assists to show for his first four matches in the U19 Bundesliga West.

His rising stock has not gone unnoticed by US senior team coach, Berhalter.

"I think of Gio Reyna, I wish it was four years later and he was at the top of his game," he told Extratime, ahead of the USA’s September friendlies against Mexico and Uruguay.

"That’s exciting to me, but I also realise it’s a process, I realise it takes time and what we’re doing is gathering as much information as possible to find out if they’re absolutely ready."

Reyna has time on his side, red, white and blue in his blood - his father, Claudio, having won 114 US caps as a player - and there is nothing to stop him emulating Pulisic by skipping a handful of age groups and debuting for the senior side.

Pulisic had only played for his country at U15s and 17s level when he earned his first USMNT call-up under Jürgen Klinsmann in March 2016, two months after making his Bundesliga debut. He was only 17 at the time, but has been a first-team mainstay ever since.

Reyna, who is five years Pulisic's junior, will turn 19 on the eve of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, and be 23 when the USA co-host the 2026 edition with Canada and Mexico.

Given his current trajectory, there is every likelihood the BVB starlet will grace the biggest stage in soccer alongside the Chelsea man in the not too distant future.