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Giovanni Reyna: The Key to the USMNT

USMNT, Including Giovanni Reyna, Celebrates Haji Wright’s Goal

The semifinals of the 2024 Nations League was on the ropes for Gregg Berhalter and the United States. Then, a semi flukey own goal powered by a Miles Robinson header in the dying moments of the game sent it to extra time. Enter: Giovanni Reyna. He had been subbed on at halftime, but where he really cooked was when the whistle blew to start extra time.

The Key to the USMNT

Giovanni Reyna and Haji Wright linked up for two goals in the first half of extra time vs Jamaica, to seal a spot in a third consecutive Nations League Final. They helped rescue a team that was timid, at times uninspired, and tactically behind the eight ball against essentially a B team for Jamaica. Reyna proved why he is the most important player for the foreseeable future of the National Team.

Reyna was loaned out to Nottingham Forest in January, and while it is neat to see him in the best league in the world, it would be nice to actually see him. He has a whopping 39 minutes since the move. While it was reported that he had picked up a knock that held him out of a couple of matches, he was clearly fit enough for 75 minutes against Jamaica.

In those 75 minutes, he served up two assists, created the most chances, and helped Haji Wright keep up his insane form. What that semifinal match proved, or only just verified for some, is that without Reyna, the expectations of success for the team dips significantly. That’s no shot at guys like Malik Tillman or Brenden Aaronson, who are good depth pieces to have off the bench. But when Reyna is on the pitch, there’s a level of creativity that just doesn’t happen without him.

The goal here is not to set unrealistic expectations on a 21-year-old, or crown him as the next Lionel Messi. But for him to play the way he did on Thursday, in the midst of a cloudy club season, is just proof that form is temporary, and class is permanent.


Photo Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports, of a USMNT Headshot, on March 21, 2024.


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