Incoming Borussia Mönchengladbach signing Joe Scally, who is set to join the Foals in January 2021, says he “can’t wait” to see close friend and Borussia Dortmund starlet Gio Reyna when he moves to Germany next year.
The 17-year-old, whose transfer was announced in November 2019 when he was just 16, made his senior debut for New York City FC in Major League Soccer in early September this year, becoming the youngest player to feature in the American top flight in the club’s history. And now he is eager to take the next step in his career.
“I know that a lot of young players make the breakthrough in the Bundesliga,” the right-back told German newspaper Bild. “I also know that it’s the right time and place to make the move.
“The Bundesliga suits my playing style more – the physicality, the speed. I run up and down the touchline a lot. I’m a physical player with good technique. I’ve always wanted to play in Europe and when I received the offer from Borussia, it was a great option.”
Scally is already learning German has visited Mönchengladbach twice, which should stand him in good stead as he settles in to his new surroundings: “I know the area pretty well now and I’m looking forward to moving there. The city might be small but all the fans love the club. Obviously my parents will visit occasionally, but I’ll be there by myself most of the time.”
Luckily for him, a familiar face will also be close by: Dortmund lies 55 miles to the east, where childhood friend Reyna now lives. The pair played together in the New York City youth teams, as well as in the USA U15s and U17s.
“Gio and I hit it off right away when I moved to the New York academy,” Scally said. “We were inseparable from then on in every training session and every trip we made. He’s my best friend and we stay in touch via FaceTime every day.
“We visit each other when he’s back home over the holidays and I can’t wait to see him in Germany. I know we’ll be playing in competing teams, but hopefully the fans will understand that I’ll speak to him sometimes.”
Despite the rivalry, Scally was among the first to congratulate Reyna on scoring his first Bundesliga goal on Matchday 1 this season – against Gladbach of all teams.
Watch: Dortmund 3-0 Gladbach – HIGHLIGHTS
“I had mixed feeling with that goal,” Scally explained. “I was so happy for Gio and for everything his achieved already. He’s making American soccer famous in Germany and in Europe. Obviously I was annoyed that Gladbach lost, but I was just happy that my friend scored.”
As well as leading by example on the pitch, Reyna has also offered Scally advice on adapting to the game in Germany: “He said that it’ll be difficult at the start, but that as soon as I’ve integrated myself it’ll be easier – and then things really get going.”