A fair few reports are suggesting we have secured the signing of 19 year old American defender Bryan Reynolds.
The lad comes with some high promise and praise. Rumoured fee is $10m.
“I would say some of his best performances are on par with any top right back in the league. And he’s still learning,” said Gonzalez of Reynolds, also a pupil of his during three years in charge of FCD’s fertile academy from 2016-18. “He’s still young. He’s still understanding the game tactically, his defensive positioning and his responsibilities without the ball and ball recovery, but certainly with the ball, I think he’s as good as it gets in MLS and he’s still only a 2001 [birth year].
“So markets can evaluate his performance and then match it with his age. And because he’s really young, similar to [Philadelphia’s Brenden] Aaronson, it’ll have a higher price tag and higher interest. European clubs are looking more and more in our market for players.”
A vaunted prospect since middle-school age, Reynolds signed his first Homegrown contract in 2016 but didn’t get an extended run as an MLS starter until Reggie Cannon was sold to Portuguese side Boavista FC earlier this year.
The US youth international then made a seamless midseason transition during what Gonzalez calls “a breakout year,” even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. With long-range investment in their sprawling youth system now reaping long-awaited rewards, FCD and MLS alike have made it clear that they’re open for this kind of business.
“The younger a player can show consistent minutes – Bryan has shown he was clearly our starter second half of the season, as an ‘01 – that creates that value and that attention or that hype,” Gonzalez said. “That’s fantastic, and our league needs that, our young players need that, our owners need that.”
With the likes of Davies, Weston McKennie (another FCD academy product) and Christian Pulisic starring on the sport’s biggest stages, the Old World is turning its attention to the North American market like never before. The compressed schedules and tighter budgets imposed by the coronavirus may yet prove to be a blessing in disguise, not only for the “Play Your Kids” movement but also the wider goal of pushing MLS forward with higher-grade imports and exports alike.
Reynolds has also represented the US at international youth levels – U16/17/18 – and been involved with the U19 squad. Deployed in his earlier days as a winger, since joining Dallas he has settled into an attacking full-back role.
It seems the player will be loaned to Cagilari initially to adjust to Serie A and the culture. Our current quota of non-eu registrations is full for this season so no chance to be included in the first team squad.
He seems a promising signing, though my cynical side suggests its more a marketing than sporting focus…I will hope to be proven swiftly mistaken.