Gio Reyna is blocking out the noise for Dortmund
The talented midfielder notched successive match winners for Dortmund
It is no secret that United States Men’s Soccer is in turmoil.
After being knocked out of the World Cup in Qatar, tension over the status of Gio Reyna on the team boiled over into allegations of blackmail. As noted earlier this month, USMNT head coach. Gregg Berhalter opened up about a domestic violence incident from his college days, where he kicked his now-wife Rosalind: “In the fall of 1991, I met my soulmate. I had just turned 18 and was a freshman in college when I met Rosalind. One night, while out drinking at a local bar, Rosalind and I had a heated argument that continued outside. It became physical and I kicked her in the legs.”
In bringing this incident to light, Berhalter stated that he was doing so because, in his words, “[d]uring the World Cup, an individual contacted U.S. Soccer, saying they had information about me that would “take me down” — an apparent effort to leverage something very personal from long ago to bring about the end of my relationship with U.S. Soccer.”
The other involved parties? Gio Reyna parent’s, Danielle and Claudio Reyna.
The relationship between the families dates back decades — Danielle and Rosalind were college roommates, while Claudio and Berhalter played together in high school and on the USMNT — but has now fractured, threatening both their friendships and potentially the USMNT.
In the middle of this is Gio Reyna, the young and talented midfielder. As the USMNT tries to move forward, turning its collective attention to hosting the 2026 World Cup, Reyna is still logging time for Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga.
And he seems to be putting all the noise behind him.
In Sunday’s match against Augsburg, Reyna came on as a late substitute in a match that was level. It did not take long for him to change that:
GIO REYNA GOLAZO TO GIVE DORTMUND A 4-3 LEAD! pic.twitter.com/3PpTXUV2q6
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) January 22, 2023
Reyna’s delicate first touch, and thunderous strike, put Dortmund ahead in the closing minutes, and his side held on for the victory.
Then came Wednesday, in stoppage time against Mainz:
GIO REYNA SCORES A STOPPAGE TIME WINNER FOR BORUSSIA DORTMUND!!!
WHAT A WEEK FOR THE 20-YEAR-OLD! pic.twitter.com/Mqd2QPnhU5
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) January 25, 2023
Two matches. Two winners from Reyna.
After the goal against Augsburg, Reyna wheeled away in celebration, and then put his hands over his ears, as if he was physically blocking out the noise. As he did, the commentator stated “… and that is how to answer the critics.”
The USMNT might be dealing with an internal soap opera at the moment. But the young player in the middle is quietly going about his business … and going about it very well.
Patrick Mahomes injury tracker: Tracking Chiefs QB’s status for AFC Championship Game
Mahomes reportedly suffered a high ankle sprain against Jacksonville
The Kansas City Chiefs advanced to their fifth-straight AFC Championship Game on Saturday, dispatching the Jacksonville Jaguars by a final score of 27-20.
However, they received quite the injury scare in the process.
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes suffered a leg injury in the first half of the game, and did not return to the contest until after halftime. Mahomes initially stayed in the game, but was visibly hampered by the injury, struggling to even execute handoffs in the backfield. The QB was then sent to the locker room, and Chad Henne replaced him for the rest of the first half.
With the Chiefs returning to the practice field on Wednesday, Kansas City head coach Andy Reid met with the media and provided an update on the QB. According to Reid, Mahomes was a participant in the team’s morning walkthrough, and is will practice on Wednesday afternoon:
Chiefs’ HC Andy Reid told reporters that Patrick Mahomes will practice today. “He did the walkthrough this morning and he’ll practice this afternoon,” Reid said.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 25, 2023
Mahomes himself provided an update, indicating that he has been consistently receiving treatment since Saturday:
Patrick Mahomes wants to push it this week each day, make sure he doesn’t aggravate it, but wants to keep testing it. He’s been getting treatment consistently since Saturday night. He hasn’t been home much expect to really sleep.
— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) January 25, 2023
Mahomes elaborate further during his media session:
I felt better than I thought I was going to be after the game. Moving on it during the game definitely hurt, but after the game I was able to rest it and kind of iced it up and do different stuff like that. I felt I was in a little bit better position, and obviously the next morning felt a little bit better and continue to be better throughout the week. So, we’ll see how it will feel today at practice and I’ll get a better feel for y’all and I think will be able to answer a little bit better tomorrow.
He also talked about the similarities — and differences — between this injury and his previous high ankle sprain, as well as diving into quarterback mechanics:
It’s very similar, just a different ankle. Especially when you’re playing the quarterback position, you’re playing and throwing off different stuff. So, the last one, it was the leg that I landed on so I had to find a way to throw where I could land and keep it in the right spot, and this time I’ll find ways to be able to push off and be able to still make throws the right way. Definitely similar in a sense but obviously different limitations and stuff that I have to work through.
Pete Sweeney of Arrowhead Pride captured this footage of Mahomes during the media portion of Wednesday’s practice:
Patrick Mahomes warms up during a very brief Wednesday media look. pic.twitter.com/gfTdvp9Hci
— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) January 25, 2023
Reid addressed the media on Monday, and indicated that the high ankle sprain Mahomes suffered on Saturday is not as severe as the one he experienced back in 2019. Reid also noted that Mahomes has never played without practicing, opening the door to Mahomes playing this week without seeing the practice field:
Andy Reid said this high ankle sprain is not as bad as the one in 2019. He’s getting treatment and they’ll take it day by day. Reid said Mahomes is planning to play. He’s never played without practicing, but it appears that hasn’t been ruled out if staying off it ends up the plan
— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) January 23, 2023
In an update Sunday morning, Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that Mahomes underwent an MRI of his ankle, which confirmed earlier reporting that the quarterback suffered a high ankle sprain. According to Schefter, Mahomes “plans to play” next weekend in the AFC Championship Game.
The injury came on this hit from Jacksonville pass rusher Arden Key:
Mahomes got his right leg rolled up on. He’s limping badly. He stayed in game for a few plays. Now trainers looking at him. Injuries stink #Denver7 pic.twitter.com/CzdIRKWNe6
— Troy Renck (@TroyRenck) January 21, 2023
Mahomes returned to the game for the second half, and threw a touchdown while using only one leg, and helped the Chiefs close out their victory over the Jaguars.
Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported on Saturday night that x-rays taken of Mahomes’ right leg were negative, but the quarterback likely suffered a high ankle sprain.
After the victory, Reid praised his quarterback’s toughness:
“He’s a tough kid. So, he wanted to be in there. He wanted to be competing. It’s a tribute to him and his competitiveness. However, you got to make sure he’s physically OK where he can protect himself. If he can’t then he can’t play, and we have to go to the next guy. But he’s a tough nut. I tell you, he’s competitive. He’s very, very competitive.”
The QB spoke with Melissa Stark after the game as well:
“I did want to go and they kind of gave me the ultimatum of I wasn’t going back in unless I went in [to be examined]. They’re trying to take care of me, and we’ve got a lot of great people here. It will take a lot to keep me out of a football game.”
Mahomes also spoke after the game about the injury, making the point that his experience, and ability, in making off-platform throws likely helped him after the injury:
Patrick Mahomes on playing through his ankle injury:
“Obviously I missed some throws I think I could’ve made if I were in the right foot position. But luckily for me, I’m not in the right foot position all the time, so I’m able to make some throws like that anyways.” pic.twitter.com/mtQUEbKhLZ
— Sam Fortier (@Sam4TR) January 22, 2023
Given what both the quarterback and his head coach said after the game, it is almost impossible to think that Mahomes will not be out there for the the AFC Championship Game. The bigger story to monitor, however, will be how the injury impacts Mahomes next week, and beyond. The QB suffered a minor high ankle sprain back in 2019 and did not miss any time, but other quarterbacks who were dealt this injury have not been as lucky.
For example, Mac Jones of the New England Patriots suffered a “pretty severe” high ankle sprain earlier this season and missed three games for New England. Baker Mayfield suffered a high ankle sprain against the San Francisco 49ers this season, and missed three games for the Carolina Panthers.
How Mahomes progresses, and how functional he is next weekend, will be a huge story over the coming days.
This post will be updated as further information on Mahomes is provided.
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