BERLIN – Gio Reyna is back.
The American started and scored on Saturday to help Borussia Dortmund rout Stuttgart 5-0 in the Bundesliga.
It was Reyna’s first league start of the season and he crowned an impressive outing on the left of midfield with his first goal in more than a year when he curled a fine strike inside the far post just before the break.
Reyna’s last goal in the Bundesliga was against Hoffenheim on Aug. 27, 2021 — one of only two goals from just 10 league appearances over the whole of his injury-marred 2021-22 season. Reyna's last appearance against Stuttgart ended in tears when he sustained a muscle and tendon injury just after kickoff – ending the season prematurely in April.
Jude Bellingham also starred with two goals as Dortmund produced arguably its best performance of the season so far to end a three-game run in Germany's top division without a win.
With Reyna (age 19), Bellingham (19) and Youssoufa Moukoko (17) all scoring, it was the first time three teenagers all scored for one team in the Bundesliga.
Reyna’s revival provided more welcome news for Dortmund coach Edin Terzić — and his United States counterpart Gregg Berhalter, who’s due to announce the national team's World Cup roster on Nov. 9.
“We’re very happy that Gio is back, that he’s fit again,” Terzić said. “He’s had to suffer a lot in the last 12 months. He’s had a lot of downtime and suffered minor setbacks, like the last time during the international break in September.”
Terzić had been careful to ease Reyna back into action following one injury setback after another in recent seasons. Reyna had come on in each of Dortmund’s last three games as a substitute.
“We’ve been able to slowly bring things back up a little bit through substitutions, so he regains the feel and confidence on the field. And today he played a really good game. You can see how well he can combine things in very tight spaces,” Terzić said.
Reyna had only started one game this season before – at Manchester City in the Champions League on Sept. 14.
Reyna’s celebration after scoring hinted at the pressure and frustration he’d been feeling after so much time on the sidelines. He wheeled away and ran toward the corner flag, slid on his knees and briefly raised his arms before sinking face down on the grass. His teammates rushed over and lay beside him.
Germany defender Niklas Süle crossed for the outstanding Bellingham to get Dortmund off the mark in the second minute, then scored himself to make it 2-0 in the 13th.
Moukoko set up Reyna’s goal in the 44th to confirm the home team’s dominance before Bellingham grabbed his second with a brilliant strike in the 53rd. Moukoko completed the scoring in the 72nd.
“In the second half, (Reyna's) task was a little different. Stuttgart defended a little differently then,” Terzić said. “He was no longer coming in from the wing, but playing between the (defensive) lines. That’s also where Gio is strongest, where he can turn again and combine quickly. He’s an essential part of this win today and we just hope that he stays stable, that he stays healthy, and that we still have lots of fun with him.”
BAYERN ON TRACK
First-half goals from Jamal Musiala and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting were enough for Bayern Munich to win 2-0 at Hoffenheim and cut Union Berlin’s league lead to a point. Union visits last-place Bochum on Sunday.
Xabi Alonso's Bayer Leverkusen missed a penalty, scored an own-goal and conceded a penalty as it drew at home to Wolfsburg 2-2. The visiting club apologized beforehand for its “disrespectful” players’ refusal to wear face masks on the train to the game.
Kevin Paredes, a 19-year-old American midfielder, made his first Bundesliga start for Wolfsburg after eight substitute appearances in league matches since he joined from Major League Soccer’s D.C. United in January.
Also, Freiburg beat Werder Bremen 2-0. Bremen had captain Marco Friedl sent off in the 14th minute for a foul that may have prevented a goal-scoring opportunity.
Augsburg was to rue Brazilian defender Iago’s sending off in the 66th as it conceded three late goals to draw with Leipzig 3-3.
There was a lengthy delay toward the end of Borussia Mönchengladbach’s 3-1 loss at home to Eintracht Frankfurt because of a loose cable from an overhead camera.
Referee Daniel Siebert interrupted the game in the 77th minute when he noticed one of the supporting cables from the “Spidercam” that zips around over the field was hanging down where the players were playing.
Play was suspended for around eight minutes while technicians worked to take down the camera so the game could resume without any risk of injury. There was nine minutes’ injury time added but not enough for Gladbach to avoid its third defeat of the season.
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