Gio Reyna has continued to block out the noise surrounding his career with the US national team with another goal on domestic duty for Borussia Dortmund.
For a second time in a week, the midfielder came off the bench to score the game winner for the Bundesliga side.
Reyna came on for former Liverpool midfielder Emre Can in the 62nd minute and found the back of the net in the 93rd minute to seal all three points for Dortmund against Mainz and mark his second consecutive winner.
Gio Reyna has continued to block out the noise surrounding his career with the USA team
Off a corner kick, the 20-year-old made a run to the back post to latch on to a headed pass from Sebastien Haller to seal a 2-1 win over Mainz in the dramatic dying minutes of the game.
He immediately ran to the corner to celebrate with the away section as his teammates streamed behind him before congratulating him in a huddle.
Reyna then turned to the stands with his fingers in his ear in a ‘blocking-out-the-noise’ celebration with teammate, English forward Jamie Bynoe-Gittens, joining in.
His teammates streamed behind the 20-year-old before congratulating him in a huddle
On Sunday, in his first game back since an eventful World Cup, Reyna also scored the winner to help Dortmund beat Augsburg in a thrilling 4-3 goal fest and performed a similar celebration.
The American raced towards the corner to celebrate with the home fans, putting his finger to his mouth in a shushing gesture before sticking his fingers in his ears.
Reyna’s ability on the field has been completely overshadowed in the past month by reports of poor behavior in the USA camp and a bombshell ‘blackmail’ scandal between Gregg Berhalter and his family.
After finding the back of the net, the midfielder celebrated by ‘blocking out the noise’
He held a finger up to his mouth to make a shushing gesture, following a month of controversy
Reyna played a very limited role for his country in Qatar, despite his impressive domestic performances, leaving many American soccer fans confused and furious over his omission.
In December, Berhalter revealed at a summit in New York City that an unidentified player was almost sent home from Qatar.
While Berhalter did not name the player in his comments, MLSSoccer.com first reported that it was Reyna that he was referencing.
Furthermore, the USMNT took a vote on whether or not Reyna should stay with the team in Qatar – with the winger winning a vote by a 13-12 tally.
Reyna later admitted he was emotional and lacked motivation, but added that he was told before the World Cup that his role would be limited and that all team disputes would be kept ‘in house’.
Reyna was surprisingly given a limited role for the USA in their World Cup campaign
Reyna’s mom Danielle (left) told US Soccer about Gregg Berhalter kicking his wife in 1991
In response to Berhalter’s disparagement of Gio Reyna during the World Cup, Danielle Reyna – Gio’s mother and former US midfielder Claudio Reyna’s wife – notified US Soccer last month of an incident in 1991 in which Berhalter kicked his future wife, Rosalind – Danielle Reyna´s college roommate.
After firing home the winner Sunday, many believed Reyna’s celebration was a response to the controversy surrounding his mother’s ‘blackmail’ plot.
Alexi Lalas, who earned 96 caps for USA during his playing career, has suggested the celebration would have been inspired by certain ‘motives’.
‘Nobody is debating the talent that Gio Reyna is or what he can hopefully be as he progresses. Not me, not you, not anybody out there, not Gregg Berhalter and certainly not Gio Reyna’s parents,’ the former defender said on his State of the Union podcast.
Lalas has not tired of calling for Berhalter to remain in charge of USMNT despite the incident
‘But everything that he does takes on added and more significant meaning, especially when you celebrate like this – and don’t think for a second that players don’t have motives by the way in which they celebrate. It is that moment where you know every camera and eyeball is going to be on you and what you do is going to be interpreted and at times misinterpreted.’
Lalas then added: ‘Ultimately, Gio Reyna has moved on from the World Cup. We are not moving on, and that he’s doing this celebration guarantees this story will continue on – which is what we are talking about right now.
‘So mission accomplished if that’s what you wanted to do, Gio.’
After two goals in two games, Reyna certainly appears to have moved on and is flying for the German side.