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Gio Reyna Makes 1st Start Under Gregg Berhalter Since World Cup Fallout
“He was amazing today. You see all his quality in training and in the games. I’m a really close friend of his and it’s really great to see him back.”
After the 2022 World Cup, a lot of focus has been put on the relationship between Gregg Berhalter and Gio Reyna. Saturday was yet another step in the right direction for the duo as Reyna earned his first start since the public feud between his parents and the USMNT head coach.
Reyna earned the start against Germany and went on to play 45 minutes. He completed 95 percent of his passes with 28 touches and three passes into the final third.
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It has been a tough year for Reyna on the field as well. This was his first USMNT match since suffering a broken bone in the Concacaf Nations League Final against Canada on June 18 and just his third appearance between club and county in that same time frame. In his only Bundesliga appearance this season, the 20-year-old played a measly 26 minutes.
Berhalter was happy with the youngster’s performance on the day.
"We thought 45 [minutes] was a perfect dose for him, and we wanted to give him the opportunity to get the 45 from the beginning," Berhalter said. "And I think he played a good game, showed his quality. I think everyone in the first half played well, and so it was good to see and good to have him on the field."
While USMNT fans were happy to see Reyna back on the field, so were his teammates. Tim Weah said that it was fun having the 20-year-old back on the field and described the Dortmund attacker as a key player in the USMNT squad.
“It was fun, especially on my side I love playing with Gio,” the current Juventus winger told The Blazing Musket. “I think me and Gio connect very well. For me, he’s a key player in the team, in the squad. I think when Gio is on the field a lot of the offense flows. It’s just a beautiful thing to watch.
Midfielder Brenden Aaronson added that Reyna was amazing against Germany.
“It was great having him back,” the Union Berlin midfielder said. “He was amazing today. You see all his quality in training and in the games. I’m a really close friend of his and it’s really great to see him back.”
With the USMNT facing Ghana on Tuesday, it will be interesting to see how Berhalter uses Reyna (if at all). It will be another chance to build his fitness while also reintegrating him into the squad.
As the U.S. continues to build ahead of the 2026 World Cup, Reyna will be a key piece. He makes the team better with his presence on the field and with all the drama in the past, the focus can finally be on the field.