Germany has become the destination of choice for young American prospects looking to further their professional playing careers, and the next youth star in the pipeline is ready to join one of the Bundesliga's best academies.
U.S. Under-17 national team star Giovanni Reyna is set to join the Borussia Dortmund youth academy and will make the move to Germany once he turns 16 in November, sources have confirmed to Goal .
A product of the New York City FC academy and the son of former U.S. national team captain and NYCFC director of football operations Claudio Reyna, Giovanni has established himself as one of the most talented young prospects in the U.S. talent pipeline. In July, Reyna helped lead NYCFC to the U-18/U-19 Development Academy championship. Prior to that he had emerged as the top prospect on the U.S. U-15 national team.
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There had been some talk earlier this year about Reyna potentially joining NYCFC's first team, with hsi father telling Goal last December that the final decision would be his son's to make.
"I’m a dad first, and I will support whatever he wants to do," Reyna told Goal in December. "The thing about a player at 14, 15, 16 is they’re going to make their own decision. They’re going to take everything in and see. It all depends. It’s case by case. It’s certainly, for me, one that’s difficult of course, being sporting director of a club here. But he knows around him all the time I’m his dad first. I’m there to support him, to teach him. Not to tell him he’s great, but that he’s got a long way to go, he’s got to continue to work and develop good habits and to continue to guide him."
Claudio Reyna's professional career also began in Germany where he first joined Bayer Leverkusen in 1994 before breaking through with Wolfsburg in the 1997-98 season.
Gio Reyna cleared his path to Dortmund after securing a Portuguese passport earlier this year through his paternal grandmother, sources confirmed to Goal . He must still wait unil he is 16 to become the latest American to pass through the ranks at Dortmund, where he will look to follow in the successful footsteps of Christian Pulisic, who joined the Dortmund academy in 2014 before breaking into the first team and becoming a regular starter for the German power.
Reyna will join a growing list of young Americans plying their trade in Germany, including Pulisic, Weston McKennie and Josh Sargent, as well as fellow youth national team standout Sebastian Soto, who formally announced his move to Hannover 96 on Wednesday, and Chris Richards, who is currently on loan with Bayern Munich's U-19 team after impressing with the first team during this summer's International Champions Cup.
Though he has yet to play professionally, Reyna signed an endorsement deal with Adidas at the age of 14, even starring in a commercial for the Germany-based apparel company.