Borussia Dortmund starlet Gio Reyna has been named as captain of the USA roster for the upcoming FIFA U17 World Cup in Brazil.
The 16-year-old, who joined BVB over the summer and has since been a regular in the U19 side, will lead a 21-man squad at the tournament.
“I’m delighted to be involved, especially as I really believe we can go a long way with this team,” said Reyna of a side that also includes 17-year-old Freiburg midfielder Maximilian Dietz, who has made seven outings for the Black Forest club in the U19 Bundesliga this season.
Reyna has swiftly made a name for himself at Dortmund. The son of former Bayer Leverkusen and Wolfsburg midfielder Claudio, he has three goals and six assists in 10 competitive games for the club’s U19s, spearheading their attack alongside Youssoufa Moukoko and helping them sit fourth in the table.
He was also included in the first team’s UEFA Champions League squad after impressing with a string of mature, composed displays on Dortmund’s tour of the States over the summer.
Reyna even started the friendly against reigning European champions Liverpool and provided an assist for Paco Alcacer’s opener in 3-2 win.
Watch: Reyna's assist for Alcacer against Liverpool
And the attacking midfielder, who currently has eight caps for the US U17s, believes that experience will stand him in good stead for competition in Brazil, to be held from 26 October – 17 November, where the Stars and Stripes will face Senegal, Japan and the Netherlands in Group D.
“It’s a big advantage for me,” he told the Dortmund website. “The tempo is much quicker and I’ve been able to test myself on a different physical level. I’ve already played against ‘real’ World Cup winners Mario Götze and Mats Hummels in training. Obviously now I want to make use of that on a slightly smaller stage.”