Qatar 2022: Why is Gio Reyna not starting for USMNT vs Netherlands?

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Gio Reyna (Getty Images)

Gio Reyna has been one of the best young players in Europe during the last months, but he won’t start the Round of 16 game in the Qatar 2022 World Cup against the Netherlands. Read here to find out why Gregg Berhalter took this shocking decision.

The USMNT are back in the round of 16 after surviving Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B with the likes of England, Iran and Wales. Now this young generation of players will take on the Netherlands in a bid to reach the quarter-finals for the first time since Japan and Korea 2002.

After failing to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the United States is getting redemption in Qatar 2022. This is the second-youngest roster for the U.S. in tournament history, with an average age of 25 years, 175 days. Gio Reyna is a key factor at 20 years old.

Gregg Berhalter’s team opened the Qatar 2022 World Cup with two draws against Wales (1-1) and England (0-0). Then, in a must-win scenario, the USMNT responded with a 1-0 victory against Iran. The Netherlands were the next opponents in the round of 16 and many expected to see Gio Reyna in the starting line-up.

Why is Gio Reyna not playing in United States vs Netherlands?

Though he is one of the best players in the USMNT roster, as a young sensation with Borussia DortmundGio Reyna didn’t start any of the three matches at the group stage. In a merely tactical decision, coach Gregg Berhalter has decided Reyna is not a decisive factor yet in the Qatar 2022 World Cup.

Gio Reyna only played in the game against England as a substitute for Timothy Weah in minute 83′. Weah, Josh Sargent and Christian Pulisic have been the usual starting names in attack for the United States during the World Cup.

However, in a single-elimination game like the one against the Netherlands, Gio Reyna is available to come from the bench. The USMNT haven’t won a Round of 16 match since their 2002 victory over Mexico at Jeonju.

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