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Explained: Why USMNT star Reyna didn't play against Wales in World Cup opener

11:36 PM WAT 21/11/2022
Gio Reyna USMNT Wales 2022
United States men's national team coach Gregg Berhalter said Gio Reyna's exclusion from a 1-1 draw with Wales was only partially injury related.

WHAT HAPPENED? Reyna, considered one of the USMNT's brightest young talents, was denied a World Cup debut on Monday as Weah started ahead of him while Brenden Aaronson and Jordan Morris were prioritized off the bench.

WHY DIDN'T REYNA PLAY AGAINST WALES? Berhalter said Reyna didn't start in part because of pre-match muscle tightness but added the choice not to use the Borussia Dortmund player in the second half was tactical. "In the phase of the game we were at we went with Jordan [Morris] who we felt could give us something with speed and power," he explained.

Reyna told reporters after the game that he was fit enough to participate, however, suggesting his health had nothing to do with his omission. “I’m 100 percent and I’m good to go,” Reyna said.

STORY IN A PHOTO:

THE REACTION:

Berhalter's decision to exclude Reyna did not go over well.

Could Reyna have provided a late-match spark?

Morris certainly didn't make magic happen!

WHAT'S NEXT FOR REYNA: Berhalter said he expects the winger to be available for selection on Friday against England.