Reyna reigns as USSF Young Male Player of he Year

By Sean McCaffery, December 22, 2020

We last saw him at the Steve Nash soccer event in NYC 2 years ago with his mother, an inductee of the Long Island Soccer Player Hall of Fame, now we get to see him on TV scoring and doing oh so well in Germany with his Borussia Dortmund & of late, the USMNT.  In the Nov. 12 win facing a bit of a depleted Wales, Reyna became one of the bakers dozen of those less than 18 to be so capped. Gio then earned his first full cap, scant days later, now at the ripe old age of 18  had his first goal against Panama in a rout, making him the 3rd youngest to score for the USMNT, building the family brand at every turn. Covid may have delayed his getting time with the NT in a game as he was set to be called in for the March camp by coach Berhalter as he made his first appearance in the Bundesliga on Jan. 18. To date he has 39 games with 5 goals and 7 assists. Feb. 4 saw him get his first goal, next a brace Feb. 18 facing PSG in a 2-1 win for his UEFA Champions League debut. Covid then hit, all was put on pause, May saw the return and he closed the book on the season getting time in 7 games out of the next 9.

During this 2020-'21 season, it has been more of the same, all 13 games have seen him on the pitch, with 10 starts, putting away 3 goals and 4 assists in league play. As for the Champions League he has been in each of the half dozen games for his side, starting in a quartet of them.

Though well acquainted with the award, he was up for it in the previous pair of years as he did so well with the U-17's. While in the NYCFC Academy where his father was an executive with the first team from founding, in 2018, he was the Eastern Conference Player of the Year in the now disbanded USSDA as they took the U-18/19 title.

He has played with no less than 5 others who have taken this heady award. One winner, the first to be so honored, Josh Wolff is now the HC at Claudio's Austin team awaiting to join the MLS. Josh, the first coach in team history, received his back in 1998 and was kind enough to join us in a Zoom session to honor former teammate Dwayne De Rosario, "DeRo" and celebrate his being named to the MLS best 25 two weeks past.