Reyna as New York City FC sporting director in March 2015
|Full name||Claudio Reyna|
|Date of birth||July 20, 1973|
|Place of birth||Livingston, New Jersey, U.S.|
|Height||5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)|
|1997–1999||→ VfL Wolfsburg (loan)||48||(6)|
|2007–2008||New York Red Bulls||29||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only
He was the captain of the United States men's national team before retiring from international soccer following the U.S.'s exit from the 2006 FIFA World Cup. He is widely considered one of the greatest players the United States has ever produced. Reyna last played for New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer, where he was team captain.
Reyna's father Miguel moved to the United States in 1968 from Argentina, where he had gone through the youth system of Independiente and played professionally with Los Andes. He settled in Springfield Township, Union County, New Jersey in the 1950s, married a Portuguese American woman, Maria Silva, and raised a family. Reyna was born in Livingston, New Jersey, where he learned the game from his father.
In New Jersey, Reyna would go on to become a youth player at Saint Benedict's Preparatory School, as a teammate of Gregg Berhalter. He graduated from St. Benedict's in 1991. During Reyna's three years with the team, St Benedict's went undefeated (65–0) while Reyna was named as the only two-time Parade Magazine's national high school Player of the Year and the Gatorade National Player of the Year. In 1999, he was named by The Star-Ledger as one of the top ten New Jersey high school soccer players of the 1990s.
Highly recruited out of high school, Reyna elected to attend the University of Virginia from 1991–1993 on a full-ride scholarship. While at Virginia, he spent three seasons on the men's soccer team, coached by future U.S. national team coach Bruce Arena. The Cavaliers would go on to win the NCAA championship each of his three seasons. On an individual level, Reyna won the Hermann Trophy in 1993 and the MAC Award in 1992 and 1993; and was named the 1992 and 1993 Soccer America Player of the Year. In 2000, the magazine placed him on its Team of the Century and named him the male player of the century.
On August 8, 1994, Reyna signed with German Bundesliga club Bayer 04 Leverkusen after playing in the 1994 FIFA World Cup. He had difficulty finding playing time with the Leverkusen first team, making only five appearances. Leverkusen loaned Reyna to fellow Bundesliga side VfL Wolfsburg in July 1997. He quickly established himself in Wolfsburg's first team where he became the first American to captain a European club.
On April 1, 1999, Rangers paid $826,400 to Wolfsburg and $2.76 million to Leverkusen for Reyna. Reyna would remain with Rangers until December 2001. Despite building his reputation in Germany and on the national team as a creative midfielder, he spent most of his years at Rangers playing right midfield. He scored ten goals for the Ibrox club, one of the most notable was a strike that proved decisive over Italian club Parma for qualification for the 1999–2000 UEFA Champions League.
In October 2002, he injured the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee, keeping him out of action for the rest of the 2002–03 season.
Reyna's time at City was frequently punctuated by injury, restricting him to thirty appearances in his first season with the club, and causing him to miss six months of the 2004–05 season. In three and a half seasons at the City of Manchester Stadium, Reyna made 87 appearances, scoring four goals and was a popular player with City supporters.
On January 11, 2007, Manchester City manager Stuart Pearce announced that the club had agreed to terminate Reyna's contract with a view to a move to Major League Soccer for family reasons. This was finalized on January 23, 2007.
On January 24, 2007, Reyna signed with New York Red Bulls, where he rejoined his former University of Virginia and U.S. national team head coach Bruce Arena. However, much like his years in Britain, Reyna was almost constantly bothered by injuries. He only played in twenty-seven games during two years with New York and only six games in 2008 as he rehabilitated a herniated disc. Reyna announced his professional retirement on July 16, 2008.
As a U.S. national player, Reyna got his first cap against Norway on January 15, 1994. He was a member of the team at the 1994 FIFA World Cup, but did not play due to injury. Reyna did play in the 1998, 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cups.
In 2002, despite sitting out the opening 3–2 upset win over Portugal due to injury, he was a key contributor in the next three U.S. games — a tie against South Korea, a loss to Poland, and a win over CONCACAF rival Mexico. In the quarterfinals, the U.S. lost to eventual runner-up Germany. He became only the third American ever (after Bert Patenaude and John Souza) named to the World Cup all-tournament team.
In 2006, Reyna again captained the U.S. at the World Cup in Germany. Trailing 1–0 in the opener against the Czech Republic, Reyna fired a 30-yard shot that bounced off the post, the best American chance in the game. In the final group game against Ghana, Reyna suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament when he lost the ball to Haminu Draman who then dribbled in alone and scored Ghana's first goal.
On June 23, 2006, the day after the U.S. was eliminated from the World Cup, Reyna announced his retirement from the national team. He ended his international career with 111 caps and eight goals.
Reyna married Danielle Egan, then a member of the United States women's national soccer team, in July 1997, one week after attending the FIFA All-Star Game in Hong Kong and two weeks after the U.S. team's World Cup qualifier at El Salvador. They have had four children: Jack (born 1999), Giovanni (born 2002), Joah-Mikel, and Carolina. Giovanni has achieved great success playing in the New York City FC development academy. Jack, Reyna's eldest child, died of brain cancer in 2012. The family resides in Bedford, New York.
Reyna now spends much of his time managing the Claudio Reyna Foundation, his non-profit established to provide soccer training and mentoring to underprivileged youth around the nation and abroad. Claudio was elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame on February 29, 2012.
Chasing down a long throw from former Blau-Weiss Gottschee star Dario Brose, [Claudio Reyna], the 1993 College Player of the Year from the University of Virginia and Livingston, N.J., slammed a hard shot at Norway goalkeeper Frode Grodas to create a game-winning rebound chance for Cobi Jones as the United States defeated Norway, 2–1, in Sun Devil Stadium yesterday to begin its 1994 World Cup preparation with an upset triumph.
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