Bryan Reynolds: Things to know about AS Roma's new USMNT international star
By Max Cooper
There's no doubt that the quality of soccer in the United States of America is only heading in one direction.
MLS is growing into one of the most lucrative divisions on the planet and the USMNT boasts a collection of globally recognisable stars who are making their names all over the planet.
Giovanni Reyna is lighting up the Bundesliga, Weston McKennie has shocked Serie A viewers with his rapid adaptation to life in Italy, and Christian Pulisic is still regarded as one of the most promising wingers in Europe - despite his poor season with Chelsea.
Another American has touched down in Italy this winter, and expectations are sky-high for him to become one to watch over the next few years.
Right-back Bryan Reynolds signed for AS Roma from FC Dallas in January, and given I Giallorossi's need for some serious competition and quality in that department, his arrival was welcomed with open arms.
But who is Reynolds, and what is there to know about the teenager?
1. BBB - 'Big Bad Bryan'
First of all, he's got a badass nickname. Standing six feet and one inch tall (that's 1.88m) Reynolds is a remarkably towering figure for a full-back. It's no surprise then, that he has arrived in Rome with the nickname 'Big Bad Bryan', or 'BBB' for short.
No doubt the AS Roma Twitter admin will latch onto that when he starts tearing it up in the yellow and red jersey.
2. Soccer fate decided by ballot
In an alternate universe, Reynolds might now be crushing it as a baseball star, or flying up and down the court as a basketball icon. Aged four, the Roma star's father handed him a piece of paper with four sports written on it: basketball, baseball, soccer, and American football.
“He told me to pick one and that was going to be my sport,” Reynolds said, as cited by AS Roma. As you can probably guess, he picked soccer. Fear not though, Reynolds' father is an ex-footballer himself, and he admitted, “I was going to nudge [Bryan] towards soccer if I could.”
Perhaps SOCCER was written in size 70 font, and the rest were written in Japanese.
As a player, Reynolds loves to attack, and in a Roma system which encourages their wing-backs to bomb forward, he couldn't be better placed to kick on.
He also became the youngest MLS defender to notch four assists in each of the last two seasons, and his love for getting to the byline and pulling back crosses will excite coach Paulo Fonseca greatly. Born to play for the Portuguese boss.
4. FC Dallas record breaker
During his short time at FC Dallas, Reynolds has broken a number of records. First of all, he became the youngest ever homegrown player to sign a contract with the club, putting pen to paper at the tender age of 15 years and 147 days.
He went on to be named the club’s MVP, Breakout player and Defensive player of the year, thus earning himself a move to Roma, and gifting a franchise-record fee to his hometown club.
I Giallorossi are believed to have paid $8.5m up front, and that sum could even rise to $11m if he hits some particular heights.
5. A wanted man
It could have all been so different for Reynolds, however. The right-back appeared to be heading to Juventus in January, but he slipped through I Bianconeri's fingers.
The Italian champions did not have any Non-EU slots left in their squad to register the American, so they instead proposed to send him out loan to Benevento until the end of the season.
Reynolds wasn't convinced, and when Roma rocked up and offered him the chance to immediately compete for first-team football, his mind was made up.
6. Roma debutant
And he has already stepped onto the turf to make his memorable Giallorossi debut, even if it was a game to forget for the rest of his teammates. Reynolds came on as a substitute in Roma's away tie with Parma, but the visitors contrived to lose 2-0 to a side which hadn't won in 17 matches.
Yikes. Fortunately (for Reynolds), the damage had already been done before he entered the field, and he didn't disgrace himself in his brief cameo, either.
7. Following in Michael Bradley's footsteps
Reynolds has already gone down in Roma history, as he is only the second American to ever pull on the Giallorossi jersey. He has followed in the footsteps of former USMNT captain Michael Bradley, who endured a tough 18-month stint in the Italian capital, before returning to MLS in 2014 to join Toronto FC.
The number four was replaced by Radja Nainggolan, who quickly became an adopted son of Roma, and remains a fan favourite. Happy endings for everyone, then.
Fingers crossed that Reynolds sticks around a bit longer than his predecessor.
8. Destined for the top
This journey to the top of our sport has been on the cards. Reynolds has featured for USMNT at all ages, turning out for the Under-16, Under-17 and Under-18 sides, and he also made his senior debut on 28 March 2021 against Northern Ireland.
He has also confessed that it was his dream to play in Europe, and has long wanted to test himself against some of the best teams in the world. He's in the right place to do that now!