Giovanni Reyna's ascent at Borussia Dortmund has not gone unnoticed by the U.S. men's national team.
The 17-year-old Reyna will be called in by the full national team for March friendlies vs. Wales and the Netherlands, USMNT manager Gregg Berhalter confirmed to Yahoo Sports while appearing at an MLS season launch event in New York on Wednesday. That call-up, while a landmark one for Reyna, comes at a cost for the U-23 men's national team, which is attempting to qualify for the Olympics for the first time since 2008.
Given the overlap between the two, Reyna won't be available for U-23 manager Jason Kreis–all this despite being included on a 50-player provisional roster submitted to Concacaf and revealed on Tuesday. The reason is simple: Dortmund is not obligated to release a player for youth national team duty but can't do anything to stop a player from playing for his senior national team during an official FIFA international fixture window.
According to Yahoo Sports, Dortmund flat-out indicated it would not release Reyna for Olympic qualifying, but with the U.S. playing in Europe, it gives Berhalter and his staff a chance to get a close look at the son of former U.S. captain Claudio Reyna and U.S. women's international Danielle Egan Reyna. Reyna has been a bright spot for Dortmund in eight appearances off the bench since joining the first team, scoring a fantastic goal in a DFB Pokal defeat and assisting on Erling Haaland's game-winning goal vs. PSG in a game where he became the youngest American to appear in the UEFA Champions League.
'"We want our younger players performing at a high level, and he's doing that," Berhalter told the Associated Press. "As a result of that he gets an opportunity with the first team.
"What I really like from him was his positioning. When he gets the ball in the pocket, his awareness to turn and his efficiency in when he's turning is excellent - doesn't waste any touches turning. He turns right away. Second thing is his ball security under pressure is phenomenal."
His call-up shouldn't come as a complete surprise. USMNT general manager Brian McBride hinted as much to SI's Brian Straus this week, saying: “Gio has been a great representative of our youth national teams. His father was one of the best players to have ever played for the national team. Those are factors. We think extremely highly of him, and I think you’ll see that soon.”
Soon is in about a month. The U.S. will play the Netherlands in Eindhoven on March 26 followed by a showdown vs. Ryan Giggs-coached Wales in Cardiff on March 30.