Gio Reyna walked onto the field for his U.S. national team debut, just like mom Danielle in 1993, just like dad Claudio in 1994.
“I wasn’t too nervous, to be honest,” Gio said. “I was just happy. I’m sure it’s a moment I’ll remember forever.”
On the day before his 18th birthday, Reyna showed the superior passing and dribbling ability that earned him playing time this year at Borussia Dortmund, skills similar to those his father flashed as U.S. captain. Reyna played 78 minutes Thursday night and was among six debuts for the Americans in a 0-0 tie against Wales in an exhibition at Swansea.
“Gio showed real quality at times,” said U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter, Claudio Reyna's former teammate. “It was the fluidity on the ball, getting in good positions that hurt the defense. His defending, I thought was a good start starting point. And overall, a 17-year-old debuting and he didn’t look like that.”
Claudio Reyna made 112 international appearances from 1994 to 2006, playing in three World Cups. The former Danielle Egan played six matches for the American women in 1993 and married Claudio in 1997.
As the Americans ended a 10-month layoff caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic, Reyna was joined in the starting lineup by Yunus Musah, a midfielder with Valencia who turns 18 on Nov. 19; and 19-year-old midfielder Konrad de la Fuente, who waits his first Barcelona senior team appearance.
Johnny Cardoso, a 19-year-old midfielder with Brazil’s Internacionale, entered in the 71st; Nicholas Gioacchini, a 20-year-old forward with Caen, in the 79th; and Owen Otasowie, a 19-year-old midfielder with Wolverhampton, in the 87th.
Reyna was in a mobile and dynamic midfield, combining with 21-year-old Tyler Adams of Leipzig and 22-year-old Weston McKennie of Juventus. The starting lineup included 20-year-old right back Sergiño Dest, in his first season at Barcelona.