116street Soccer

Footballing from a lesser authority...

Location: New York, New York

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Know Your Yanks: Claudio Reyna

We're almost done, just in time for tomorrow's opener! Let's get acquainted with the USA captain, Claudio Reyna.

Having captained the U.S. team since 1999, Claudio Reyna is an integral part of the team's success. Reyna was a Bruce Arena player at the University of Virginia, before moving abroad to Germany to play for Bayer Leverkusen, but it was his move to Vfl Wolfsburg in 1997 that truly signaled his arrival. In 1998, he became the first American to captain a European side, when he was named Wolfsburg captain.
Reyna's profile grew, and he eventually transferred to Scottish powerhouse Rangers in 1999, where he became a regular. His 2000 season saw him become a Scottish Premier League champion, and he saw Champions League action in all three of his seasons with Rangers. Reyna's stellar play for Rangers brought about a $5.7 million transfer to English Premier League side Sunderland, the highest transfer fee ever paid for an American. Reyna once again wore the captain's armband in 2002 for Sunderland, but injury cut his season short, and when Sunderland was relegated in 2003, Reyna moved on to Manchester City, where he remains to this day.
Reyna made his U.S. debut in 1994, and was named to the World Cup Best XI in 2002. This will be his fourth World Cup. He is a versatile and talented central midfielder, capable of performing both in attack and defensively. His passing, tackling and vision make him a vital member of the USA squad. His ability to maintain possession and control tempo have often led to him being referred to as the "engine" of the U.S. team. If he can stay healthy, Reyna will surely play every match for the USA, and will captain the squad throughout.

Career Highlights:

1994: Makes U.S. Men's National Team debut.

1995: Makes pro debut with Bayer Leverkusen (Germany, 1. Bundesliga).

1997: Joins Vfl Wolfsburg (Germany, 1. Bundesliga) on loan from Bayer.

1998: Named Wolfsburg captain.

1999: Joins Rangers FC (Scotland, Premier League) from Wolfsburg on a $2.8 million transfer. Named captain of U.S. Men's National Team.

2000: Wins Scottish Premier League title with Rangers.

2001: Joins Sunderland AFC (England, Premier League) from Rangers on a $5.7 million transfer.

2002: Advances to World Cup quarterfinals with USA, before elimination against Germany. Named to World Cup Best XI.

2003: Joins Manchester City (England, Premier League) from Sunderland on a $3.9 million transfer.


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