New York City FC academy midfielder and US U-17 international stud Giovanni Reyna is set to cross the Atlantic and join the academy of German titans Borussia Dortmund, sources tell Ives Galarcep of Goal.com. Despite being just 15 years old, Reyna was able to secure a Portuguese passport, which will allow him to join BVB in November when he turns 16.
The Reyna family has had a strong presence around NYCFC since it’s inception. Gio’s father is former US men’s national team star and current NYCFC sporting director Claudio Reyna. The elder Reyna himself had a successful stint in Germany with Bayer Leverkusen and Wolfsburg. Gio himself, alongside Joe Scally and James Sands, led NYCFC to the U-18/U-19 Developmental Academy championship in Kansas City. Reyna is best served as an attacking No. 10, but has already shown the versatility and creativity to play as a central striker or even as a deep-lying playmaker, albeit at the U-15 level.
Selfishly, NYCFC are likely disappointed that Reyna won’t factor into their long term plans. However, Reyna is the next name in an ever-growing list of North American soccer prospects to join European sides, specifically in Germany’s Bundesliga. While the story and successes of Christian Pulisic and Alphonso Davies are well known, there are several of success stories gestating within German academies. Former FC Dallas youth midfielder Weston McKennie was purchased by perennial Champions League side Schalke and has wiggled his way into the somewhat regular rotation at just 19 years old. Striker Josh Sargent spurned MLS to join the academy of mid-table side Werder Bremen. Real Salt Lake academy prospect Sebastian Soto is now a member of Hannover 96, while Chris Richards surprised in the International Champions Cup while on loan at Bayern.
Reyna’s move is important for reestablishing the credibility of the USMNT and their youth system, but could be seen as an even bigger boon for NYCFC’s academy. What could earn a developmental system ore praise than the jewel of their system excelling on one of the biggest stages in the world? Time will tell how the move will pan out, but the Reyna-Dortmund marriage has every look of a win-win scenario.