Gio Reyna’s goals for the following week are easy: Qualify for the World Cup, and halt wholesome.

The forward, one in all the brightest younger stars for the U.S. men’s team, is lend a hand with the Individuals for the first time since September, when he injured his upright hamstring at some level of the first World Cup qualifier. Despite the incontrovertible truth that his absence lasted longer than Reyna had hoped, his return comes at time for the Individuals, who’ve to take a minimal of one in all their closing three qualifiers to clinch a diagram on the World Cup in Qatar.

“I appropriate are looking out for to relieve the community,” Reyna said Tuesday. “Our predominant aim is to creep to the World Cup, and that’s what I’m right here to relieve us create.”

Concacaf’s high three groups robotically qualify for the World Cup later this year, and the fourth-situation finisher goes to a playoff this summer time towards a team from Oceania. The Individuals open the closing qualifying window in 2nd situation, however appropriate four points separate them from fourth-situation Panama. Costa Rica, which is currently fifth, is one other level lend a hand.

Gio Reyna celebrates after scoring a goal in the USMNT's win over Mexico in the 2021 Nations League final.

Gio Reyna celebrates after scoring a aim within the USMNT’s take over Mexico within the 2021 Countries League closing.

Of the four groups combating for the leisure two automatic spots, the USMNT has the most complex time table. The Individuals are on the boulevard for 2 of their three games, initiating Thursday at Mexico’s Azteca Stadium.

They play Panama on Sunday in Orlando, then scoot to Costa Rica for a sport March 30.

The USMNT has by no manner won a World Cup qualifier at Azteca – heck, it’s ideal won one sport there, period, a 2012 friendly – with the raucous crowd, altitude and air quality, to issue nothing of El Tri itself, traditionally presenting an insurmountable issue. But Azteca will now now not be as ferocious as routine Thursday, with capacity diminished to about half as the Mexican federation tries to curb its fans’ spend of a homophobic slur.

Even with a corpulent stadium, Mexico has been decidedly vulnerable at dwelling only within the near past, wanting a gradual aim to beat Jamaica within the first qualifier and drawing with Canada within the following match at Azteca.

El Tri has been decidedly vulnerable towards the Individuals only within the near past, too.

The USMNT won all three suits towards El Tri remaining year, a first. The Individuals beat Mexico for the title in two tournaments, no matter utilizing two diversified squads. Reyna used to be section of the team that won the Countries League title, scoring the USMNT’s first aim within the three-2 take.

“Going towards them is particular,” Reyna said. “I’m now now not in actuality pondering this time, ‘I have to gain as a result of we’re taking part in towards Mexico.’ … If I gain, it’ll be large. If I gain an relieve, it’ll be large. If I don’t (gain) either and if we take, it’ll be appropriate as large.

“I’m now now not in actuality centered on that too well-known,” Reyna added. “I’m extra centered on getting three points.”

Restful, having Reyna lend a hand is a boost. Significantly given Monday’s announcement that forward Brenden Aaronson, who has two goals and is the say American to play in all 11 World Cup qualifiers, is out with a knee injury.

The U.S. men might per chance perhaps even be without midfielder Weston McKennie, their ideal player in recent months. McKennie had one in all the goals within the USMNT’s 2-0 victory over Mexico –in November.

Reyna’s minutes are inclined to be restricted, given his long layoff. He injured the hamstring Sept. 2 in El Salvador, and didn’t play again for Dortmund, his membership in Germany, unless Feb. 6. A setback two weeks later, at some level of his first open, sidelined him for one other three weeks.

But after approaching as an quite a couple of in two games, Reyna began and played all 90 minutes Sunday.

“I’ve built up a couple of energy over the leisure two months, three months. I’m barely assured in my body for the time being,” Reyna said. “But it indubitably used to be large to gain 90 minutes sooner than coming into camp. It gave me a large boost in self assurance, lustrous that I can create it now.”

U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter has already said he’ll watch out with Reyna’s minutes. Despite the incontrovertible truth that Berhalter has brushed apart the foundation of “saving” his ideal lineup for Panama, a sport that is effectively a have to-take for the Individuals, it can probably perhaps seem to create extra sense to sit down down Reyna, or raise him on as an quite a couple of, towards Mexico after which give him extra minutes towards Panama.

“I probably need a couple of extra weeks sooner than I’m 100 percent slot in terms of working and taking part in 90 minutes persistently,” said Reyna, who said he had no disorders after Sunday’s sport.

Despite the incontrovertible truth that it can probably be Reyna’s first World Cup qualifier in Mexico – his first sport at Azteca, period – he got a style of the fierceness of the contention remaining summer time. He’s also heard the tales from his teammates and, for positive, his own father.

Claudio Reyna used to be the U.S. captain for eight years, and played within the 1998, 2002 and 2006 World Cups. The elder Reyna had a hand in each and each goals within the USMNT’s historical take over El Tri within the round of 16 on the 2002 World Cup.

“He’s informed me about it,” the youthful Reyna said. “It’s persistently a terribly, in actuality appropriate test for us. It’s persistently a terribly, in actuality entertaining sport for the fans. It’s going to be stress-free, it’s going to be thrilling and there’s loads to play for. So it’ll be large.”

This article first and predominant appeared on USA TODAY: World Cup qualifying whisper at predominant level for USMNT and Gio Reyna

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