Men in Blazers 11/05/20: Gio Reyna Pod Special
This is rebecca. Lowe will rebecca if you listen to sub optimal radio and you are listening to men in blazers on the nbc scolds network. It's the day to rural ch and welcome to a. men in blazes pod special applaud special. The comes at the tone when let's be honest all the bisconti with a bit of a lift. And that's what we're here to deliver today because guest. Well he's only one of the practice team prospects in global football. Guess what he's american with talking of course about geo raina that seventeen year old. Who's taken the bundesliga by storm with borussia dortmund. And he was a guest on this week. Men in blazers. Tv show conversation was so remarkable so uplifting we wanted to release an extended version as a pod special specially after it was announced that will be one of the twenty four european based american players. Who joined the us. Men's national team november cam next week for games against wales in panama. You look this roster and it just looted with optimism and rule potential. He writes a cloud. Here raina this week. Geos dad and said that makes me so proud to be an american at the tone when gao and pulisic and tyler adams a western twelve thousand legs of samuel as rose lavelle. Kristen press playing in europe. A of all powerful soft power exports in the world right now to hear it as apart with the one and only keyarena my guest. Today is the millie. Bobby brown american football a seventeen year old prodigy excelling on the global stage at an age when his pay as well a thinking about high school. Proms and who by seeing time and space differently. Two men mortals has become the worthy inheritor of dusty rhodes nickname see american dream well commend in blazes the pride and joy of my adopted hometown bedford. New york. Fire the mighty dormant mr g arena. I'm happy to be here. Chiro joined off month in august. Did you have a sentence. This is going to be a breakout year. For one thing. That dorman does really well here. Is that easier young guys into it last year and a lot of good experiences and i've played in every competition and made a lot of appearances but the season they feel like i'm ready and so do i so personally. I just really wanted to step up from last year and team anna bigger role you a third generation professional footballer your grandfather. Miguel in ocean tina yet. That cloudy captain america. He was the best thing to happen to sunderland until sunday. Until i die. Your mother danielle played for the us women's national team. No less an expert. The mia hamm said she could ball. What parts of your game you get from your dad. What parts of you gained you get from. I think i get the best of both of them to be honest because my dad was pretty fluid on the ball and good technique and can control the game my mom. There's more her runner. She is on the way which played young and then solely when i was thirteen fourteen fifteen. I picked up the technique and then put them together and then the commas and a good one so far football is in your genes like baldness is in mind you were two thousand tape you dad then at sunderland before his move to manchester city you came back to america with the family in two thousand seven for the most part. You had a typical american childhood by having a dad who competed at the highest levels of european football. Can you talk about the towards pro soccer in the rain a household it was never forced first of all. That's where i wanna start. I think if. I wanted to be something else. I wanted to be something else. And they were being completely happy but i was a little bit difficult to be anything else when the hell around me and other resources to be able to take my game to a high level so it's just in our blood three generations now and i'm sure it'll continue in the future you and name. Giovanni after the great gio from broncos to via data rages who will your footballing heroes growing up. When you're a kid who did you watch jay and say i want to be just like them. My favorite players come to bruin ever since the wolfsberg days. I really liked him. That's when i kinda recognized still young but the last five or six years. He's been a city he's been one of the best in the world so meal and be like him. You don't really do skills but we're effective and we're direct and that somebody is really try to model my game after. I'm a little bit similar bill and character. Those two guys. I really look to in contrast to take things from their game. April two thousand seventeen you just fourteen years of age. Playing for 'em y. Cfc's under sixteen team at the generation. You were years younger than your teammates and incredible physical mental gap of age. But you lead your team to the title and then then vp. Along the way. Did you find the game just came quicker easier that you just spoke different footballing language to those around you when you're so young you don't really know exactly. I think you're more living in the moment and kind of enjoying the time you know. Those are my best friends back there so every day i would just go to practice. Enjoy it and laugh. Have fun and within the week and i play and score a few goals are getting the system we win. And we want to national championships. Once i got into the national team around fifteen and sixteen inside best player on the field against brazil or england can take my game to the next level. Become a really good prospect. You were being scouted by every major european club. All the big trauma league sides by munich. Axe everton would change. You had to pick and you choose dormant me back to that decision on. What doorman presented you the made you decide to take your talents to signal to do. There is a little bit of an aspect of being the biggest fish in the sea versus. Maybe a smaller fish in the is a history of giving young guys. Chances than belly pool assoc now central and young talent set of came here and really taking their game next level in. That was wanting nesta for me. Did you chat to christian pulisic about his pathway at dormant. What did he tell you a little bit. But when i talked a little bit more off the field stuff of course. We're talking about playing the guys on the team. But i think he understands. It's not easy when you come here. A young kid. There's tough days lonely days. Yeah he told me that it was going to happen. You know i'm willing to sacrifice thursdays komo dreamed become a really good player as incredible gio. You were sixteen when you moved a racing junior in high school who didn't speak german moving a world away about to play with men that thrive in europe. What was his advice to you. Is you made the jump into. The unknown is a little bit different for him because he was twenty when he went over and he had my mom and they're living together somebody else but yeah he said. Don't be afraid to ask questions and don't be afraid to try new things because this is so different for you and you know people will understand that your family's out here and you have no friends here so people who understand people want to help you. You know they really want you here so try to be yourself and work your way into the first team keep on working take it day by day and enjoy every moment. You initially joined the club's under teens. It's often said that it's around this aid. Seventeen that the european play. It develops for quicker than the american. These are the viacom years. Can you describe the extent to which the coaching in germany. The tactical preparation was a step up for you from the united states. The biggest thing is honestly the competition that you have paying for under nineteen side. We'll play in nineteen team in our league but their first team was in the third division or second division but they still have all ambitions to make it pro. They can still sit in a box and they still really wanna win in. They're still competitive. And they give us tough games in america score one goal than the team just gives up and then we beat them easier easily and then they'd want to go home and just chill play fortnite or something so don't take away. My fortnight broke but within six. You've played you way into training the doorman i now american football. Is it go to europe. They all talk about the culture shock of bundesliga locker room. Not just the language but the culture of football that discipline the cutthroat no-nonsense competition in training growing men. You a kid for minutes for their livelihood. How did you experience that. It's a little bit more competitive. Do not as friendly here. But it's in a very professional way and it is guys jobs and if they see a young kid coming they're not going to be always nice to or they're not gonna do this to make you feel good because this is what they do to take care of their families. So it's understandable and more serious reaction to miss shots to blow in decisions. The stakes so much higher the scrutiny the media millions of fans watching every wrong run every miss past much more unforgiving than america where such a young football culture. We'll say intimidating feeing to busy being young and excited to know that you're supposed to be afraid. I think the first few sessions when you're in the locker room with margaritas and matt's homos and central and and these guys of course you're living nervous but i think once you step on the field you can let your abilities takeover and slowly. I was able to get more comfortable with the group and play my game a little bit more and more generating eighteenth twenty twenty. You made your first team debut as a second half substitute against augsburg at seventeen years and sixty six days old youngest american ever to play in the bundesliga when you stepped on that field take me through what went through your mind in that moment you like watch out world. It comes gio. Did you feel nerves a fan. I think i was really excited. I was doing really well done in nineteen in the fall so i felt like maybe i could go a little little bit earlier but once you step on the field for a few seconds. Uruguay seventeen playing for door. Does that often. So i was a little bit nervous in the beginning was almost going back to the way that they nourish you here and really bring you in so make it easy for me. Then those moments when you do when you're seventeen when you think oh my god. I'm one that film of champions league like an ea sports fifa referee any doubt in the back of your mind that you have what it takes to compete in thrive. I've never really doubted myself. I don't think there's ever been doubt. I think that's most important thing for young players. You need to be confident. You need to believe in yourself or else these guys will be able to censor. They'll be oh. This kid doesn't feel confident. There's no way is going to be able to make it at a young age or even later. If he's not confidence conferences has been in my game. You became the youngest american ever to score in the bundesliga when you netted your first stunning goal for dortmund age. Seventeen years and eighty three days. Sure no one's told you this before but christian pulisic scored his first goal seventeen years and two hundred and twelve days. Pulisic comparisons are inevitable when you watch christie and destroy the manchester city battlelines handedly. What does it make you think about your own potential. And what's possible. Knowing that he was in your shoes two seasons just all americans and makes us believe that we can top. He was in a very similar position. That i was. I think i just continue where. I'm confident that i can take my game to eventually to reach us level on but i know he's gonna get even better and i still to improve on so you can keep on going from here tradition. The american play as you. Clint dempsey's you brian. Mcbride's you cloudier raynor's. They've talked about experiencing a stigma in the coaches and players in europe because they were american and seen as lesser these to say the american football player has to work twice as hard to prove themselves. You relate to them not anymore. I don't think so. I think christian really really pave the way for us. We're going to be completely honest without him. It'd be way more difficult for us in the boonies z and he sees barcelona. I think five years ago wouldn't have been possible. Even if your talent was the same level by christian done so much for your soccer in general and his paving the way for a lot of us and he's the one who's really stunned this new generation of exciting soccer. whatever pressure you are experiencing. We don't say on the outside. The chemistry developed with twenty year old destroyer of souls hurling. Helen the two of you. You like jimmy. Butler and tyler herro. Does it feel like an unspoken footballing language between the pair of you light. You know where he's going to be before he's even there. We came to the i team at the same time and really. We're on the same team the first session that we both together in the winter training camp and spraying last year and ever since. Then he's really just been drilling in my head he said. Pass me a ball score now. It's where my head runs. And he's faster than these guys. They're still a few more times. I think i could have got one or two more system. We ever really chemistry. He's also heitman in a post-match press conference he told the world about you. I called them the american dream before and that's true he was you know he's seventeen years old and what is doing on the pictures day. Today is amazing so he has a huge huge future in front of and all. That isn't enough because you're too young to drive. He also gives you right. It's like a giant. Norwegian uber driver. Talk about what you've learned from him about football and the life of a football more than anything is just the work ethic he has every day is the first one to be in. Well last wants to leave so he's always taking care of his buddies always in the ice baths he's always in the jimmy's these things that can take his game to the next level keeping healthy. Because that's obviously the most boring thing. If you're healthy you can play. And that's where you can show the world where you can do is take me into the ice bats. Say when i didn't want to call their. He brought me when i was a little bit too lazy that day. So i think it's those things where he's kinda take me under his wing and told me to do a few things. I didn't want to that would help in the long run scoring for firm racking up patrick's process receiving standing ovations you leave the fielding glory when you're at home chevy to sit on the couch and just shake your head in the stuntmen and feel like i can't believe a sense of shock surprise. How marvel comic book hero. S roy has been to. You just feel normal. I don't think this would really feel normal to anywhere you just the way. The start of the season gone so far in the end of last season. You know when. I get home that day and i put my bag down. I still on the couch. And i'm exhausted. And then come consummated. What i did get a assists for romans. I think down the field with these guys. And you're in the bundesliga champions league. It all happened so fast. Sometimes you have a chance to think about it but when you have some time for yourself it's really cool. We should say it's remarkable this year and he's been away. You are a real american resurgence. First of all you were fifteen when the us fellate trinidad and tobago playing two teams at once always a mistake. They fail to qualify for the two thousand eighteen world cup. Where did you watch that game. I want you feel on that. I was at my house with my family and as a pretty relaxed evening for us assuming that the us would qualify really shocked. All of those special might act get hit him the hardest because he was successful and a few world cubs and to see where your soccer was in. The moment of time was a little bit sad for all of those little bit elope it. I mean our darkness comes light you on now. Pov exciting core of young americans performing the biggest clubs in europe at chelsea. Tyler adams at leipzig. Gino desks that barcelona weston mckennie at you. Venter staring at rinaldo. Everyone in the world would want that poem. That's a look at them. You thinking just about yourself and your own career or you check in results comparing competing with them never really competing with the americans. Non nuoc comparisons anymore. Knowing that i'm going to have an impact coming in the near future so i think it's usually wanting to do well and wanting to have success. Thirteen is making sure. They're fit awfully playing games. All these guys. It's top level. Tyler krishan west and even chris richards buying and the guys who are slow too so exciting for all of us and i know each one of us probably looking towards each other and say that we can have a good team in four or five years or even in the near future with some veterans that we've had i wash longtime but we have a good future. Do you feel this is a moment where you can redefine what it means to be an american player in the world. This generation can really your soccer out there as a country that is just be level where it can be an na level competing nations. So i don't want only players in america. Look up to me. But i want young players to look up to me all around the world so we wanted to make names in the international levels and the worldwide stage you've talked about being a goal oriented human being you've said you main goal is to look forward what you've done in the past as a young player being the i team a little bit on the boundary. The preseason before you said all your goals are now set ahead. Are those goals gio. I as a club. Plant is such a big club with fans here. They still have ambitions to win titles and want to win trophies site as much as i can continue working every day and learning from us guys more experience than i do still only seventeen so i know there's so much to improve on so much to learn but yeah score. A goal is really just work for the team in any way possible and then in jersey of the united states of america. What's possible. I haven't even been any feels like to be the i team but hopefully soon in the next couple of months i can go in and for everything. Stay safe but obviously there's pressure because we didn't make the world cup last time with i'm confident we'll hundred or something right this time but we're gonna have a young team at the world cup of free qualify and i watched mexico last night and they really have life connected fighting group and i think that's what we saw need to work on to which the us hasn't had recent years even if we're not as talented we stick together. We need to fight. We need to work as a team but everybody on the team knows that. And we're all willing to do whatever it takes to win as much as we can the prospect of ut me up for the us on home turf in twenty twenty six. I have to say for so many of us a troop late in the dog. This right now. it's the avengers coming together in cleats. Bring it on jere raina godspeed to you your team and your family courage. Thank you thank you think. Round meals awesome. Go speed geo the television version of this interview. Which includes gi terry bundesliga defenses especially at the under nineteen level. My lord it's available peacock premium along with every other episode of the men in blazers show from this season where back tomorrow with a special everton versus manchester united addition of. Wj the bald. Call in your questions.