In June, Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc stated clearly that when Gio Reyna turned 18, the club would sign him to a long-term extension. A week after that day came, Zorc stayed true to his word.
Reyna, one of the U.S. men's national team's rising stars, signed a deal with Dortmund through 2025 on Friday. No longer a minor and now allowed to sign a professional contract, Reyna's long-term future has now been sorted.
"I believe that Gio is aware of the development he has taken here. First, in the academy and then under Lucien [Favre, Dortmund manager]," Zorc said over the summer. "It's an absolute success story, and we want to continue writing it."
So the story continues to be written. Reyna, the son of former USMNT captain Claudio Reyna and U.S. women's national team midfielder Danielle Egan Reyna, made his first senior national team appearance last Thursday, in the USA's 0-0 draw vs. Wales. By doing so, he made the Reyna family the first to have three members represent U.S. senior national teams. He followed it with his first international goal, a free kick strike in a 6-2 win over Panama on Monday. The caps and goal came in a stretch of games that included appearances in the Champions League vs. Club Brugge and in the Bundesliga against Bayern Munich, and his ascent through the ranks for both club and country has been remarkable.
"Some players, they need months to develop, to get further, to get to the next step. With him, if you talk with him about something, maybe it would happen the next week, but by the second week it won’t happen again. You see a progression straight away. He’s learning very, very fast, so the process is very, very fast,” Dortmund assistant coach Otto Addo told Sports Illustrated this summer about Reyna.
Reyna has two goals and three assists in all competitions this season, becoming a fixture in Favre's starting lineup after breaking his way into the first team last winter. He has developed a strong connection with Dortmund forward Erling Haaland, with the two combining with regularity in the final third. The Norwegian star has famously given Reyna the nickname "The American Dream."
"Gio's development in recent months has been incredible. He will definitely be an important part of Borussia Dortmund's sporting future," Zorc said Friday. "I am personally very pleased that he has decided to extend his contract with BVB in the long term with complete conviction."
Reyna's rapid rise has put him firmly in the transfer rumor mill, which is commonplace for young talent breaking through at Dortmund. Liverpool and Real Madrid are two of the clubs who are vaguely said to have Reyna on their radar, but for the time being and foreseeable future, he'll be wearing the yellow and black of Dortmund while continuing to progress as a player.
"BVB are a big club that can challenge for titles and are in all the important competitions. Young players in particular have the chance to develop here," Reyna said in a club statement. "I have already learned a lot in Dortmund and I want to learn a lot more in future. I look forward to being with BVB in the long term."