Giovanni Reyna, the son of former USMNT standout, and current New York City FC Sporting Director Claudio Reyna, will sign a deal to join Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund. The 15-year-old is one of the United States’ most promising young talents and is highly rated by scouts.
Because Reyna has not signed a professional contract with NYCFC, the team will not receive any compensation. Had he signed a professional contract, he would have limited himself when it came to movement as NYCFC would have had to agree to any transfer.
The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far
Gio Reyna is with the NYCFC academy and has drawn attention from various coaches and teams. Giovanni will be following in the steps of his father, though he’s ahead of his pace currently. Claudio Reyna made the move to Europe at the age of 21, signing for Bayer 04 Leverkusen after his performances at the 1994 World Cup.
Giovanni Reyna will have him beat by 6 years, showing the difference in player development a generation apart. While the elder Reyna had already won the NCAA Championship in each of his three seasons at Virginia under coach Bruce Arena, he wasn’t a professional until that first contract despite having played for the U.S. Men’s National Team. Options in the United States were limited at the time for Claudio as there was no professional major league in the United States.
Father Knows Best
Claudio Reyna was in a rather unenviable predicament here. As the Director of a team, it isn’t easy letting a top academy prospect walk away from your youth ranks, especially when you’re not receiving any compensation. One also has to sympathize with the fact that he is a father first and understandably wants what is best for his family. “I’m a dad first, and I will support whatever he wants to do,” Reyna told Goal late last year.
While NYCFC lost one of their top prospects, the signing should still be seen as a net positive for NYCFC. Players and parents of young academy players will see NYCFC as a spring board to Europe and bigger clubs. New York City’s recent signings of Home Grown players James Sands and Joseph Scally is evidence of their development of their youth sides and proof that they believe those players, despite not even being old enough to vote, are already prepared to fight for minutes alongside players who will be competing in the World Cup in Russia.
Reyna is the latest young American to head to the Bundesliga. Weston McKennie and Christian Pulisic are two of the most recent arrivals to have made a big splash in Germany. Both McKennie and Pulisic are 19-years-old and are seen as locks to lead the USMNT in the coming years, and it wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine Giovanni Reyna as the next young American lighting up Germany.