Gio Reyna: The Joker of Dortmund leaves the World Cup row – TUSEN – 25-01-2023

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In German football, a player who jumps off the bench to score crucial goals for his side is known as ‘of the Joker’. It’s not a role Gio Reyna was overjoyed in the World Cup and despite winning goals in consecutive Bundesliga raids, it’s not one he’s looking to settle into at Borussia Dortmund.

“Everybody wants to start, but we have 25 guys who want to start,” he told TUSEN after his stoppage time Mainz won 2-1. “We have a really deep roster so I know the opportunities will come. I’m certainly not worried. We all just have to keep working and I’m just here to help.”

Reyna’s Dortmund coach, Edin Terzic, praised the impact, professionalism and work ethic of the US international, in stark contrast to his World Cup coach, Gregg Berhalter. During the tournament, the national team boss revealed that he almost sent a player, later revealed to be Reyna, home from the tournament before Reyna’s mother hit back at Berhalter in connection with a 1991 domestic violence claim.

“I don’t really need to add anything to that,” said the 20-year-old. “Obviously it’s been a tough couple of weeks. But I’m just happy to play and that’s where I’m happiest.”

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Terzic: Reyna sped up the game

He looked to be celebrating Wednesday’s sharp finish at the back post after a shot from fellow substitute Sebastien Haller followed Reyna’s winner in BVB’s victory over Augsburg. Reyna’s goals keep Dortmund, although not always convincing, in the hunt for the Champions League.

“It hasn’t been particularly easy [for Reyna] especially in the US media in recent weeks. But we talked to him regularly. We cannot confirm the things he is accused of there. But he never harmed Borussia Dortmund,” Terzic said after the game.

“We brought him in today hoping he would get the ball and speed up the game. In the end he did his job at the back post. It’s fantastic that he’s scoring another winning goal and we hope he keeps it up.” “

Reyna, Haller and England youngster Jamie Bynoe-Gittens have made the difference from the bench in both of Dortmund’s wins since the restart. Terzic sees that as a sign of strength rather than an error in the team selection.

“When you see how passionately Mainz defended today and Augsburg defended on Sunday, you know they can get tired as the game goes on. And then we can build new legs to exploit that. Jamie and Gio did that again today.” Also don’t forget how long they were out [injured].

Goals start flowing

“We are still the team with the most goals off the bench. That’s what we want, we want the boys to be able to change things off the bench. There are guys who start, guys who finish and guys who decide the game.” .”

Again, on Wednesday it was Reyna. He has now scored 4 in his last 7 league games, making him BVB’s second top goalscorer in the league and matching his most prolific Bundesliga campaign. That he averaged just 40 minutes per game in those 7 games is a nod to both his ability to influence games quickly and a hesitation on the part of his coach.

Edin Terzic used Gio Reyna gently so far, but praised his impact and attitudeImage: Marco Steinbrenner/Kirchner/photo alliance

Separately, Terzic’s reluctance to let Reyna and co. is difficult to fathom. But Reyna’s young career has been plagued by injuries, while Bynoe-Gittens has also missed important football spells. Fortunately, Haller has just recovered from something much more serious. Nevertheless, Reyna is ready to grab a starting opportunity wherever it may come.

Play the Joker early?

“As long as I’m four or five up front. I just want to help the team and attack and score and score goals. So it’s where the team needs my help. I’ll just do my best.”

Reyna has admitted that was not the case immediately after Berhalter told him he would be a bit of a co-star at the World Cup: “I fully acknowledge that I let my emotions get the better of me and influenced my training and behavior for a while. days,” he wrote on Instagram at the time. But his club coach has no such complaints.

“He has always worked very hard, even if it was difficult, not only mentally but also physically after being out for so long,” Terzic said after the win in Mainz. It’s getting harder and harder not to play his Joker from the start.

Edited by: Matt Ford

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