In a Monday press conference, Borussia Dortmund head Marco Rose coach definitively put a nail in the coffin of any hopes that American starlet Giovanni Reyna might return to competitive action before the international break.
Since he was first pictured back in training in the final days of November, Reyna’s return has been a subject of speculation and anticipation, in particular in the days since Dortmund began their January schedule following the short winter break.
After being coy about the American’s return in his comments prior to the weekend, Rose gave a clearer idea of the targeted timeline on Monday morning, in a statement that will be a huge disappointment to USMNT fans holding out hope for his inclusion in Gregg Barhalter’s squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
“Gio Reyna is on a good path overall, but of course he has lost something over time,” Rose stated to the media on Monday, continuing “We need to get him match fit and ready to play.”
In regards to when Reyna can be expected to be back in competitive action, Rose would not commit to any exact game as a target, but gave a rough timeline that all but eliminates his return in their two games before the international break.
“Without promising too much, we’re aiming for the break after [the Hoffenheim game] to get him fully fit again,” Rose concluded.
Dortmund visit St. Pauli in the DFB Pokal on Tuesday and Hoffenheim in league action four days later. While Reyna’s return to the USMNT fold for the upcoming window was already highly doubtful, Rose’s statement effectively eliminates any ability for the US Soccer authorities to argue that the 19 year-old is healthy enough for a call-up.
The new timeline would make Dortmund’s home game against third-place Bayer Leverkusen on February 6 the earliest possible target for a Reyna appearance. In general, the team has a busy February schedule, with four Bundesliga games and an additional two Europa League contests in the 21-day space of time between the Leverkusen game and their visit to Augsburg on the 27th.