Former Player: Claudio Reyna
Claudio Reyna is an American former Footballer. He was born in New Jersey in 1973, and comes from both Portugese and Argentinian roots. Through his schooling, Claudio was touted as a future star and won numerous awards for his footballing ability, as the team he played for (St Benedicts Prep School) went 65 games unbeaten with Reyna in the heart of their midfield.
Reyna went on to the University of Virginia, and played for three years in their Men’s soccer team, under the leadership of future USA coach Bruce Arena. Reyna continued to impress, and was named the 1992 and 1993 Soccer America Player of the Year, a magazine which also placed him on its Team of the Century and named him the male player of the century in 2000.
Claudio was scouted by a number of clubs, and after playing for the USA in the 1994 world cup, was snapped up by Bayern Leverkusen. He struggled to settle at the club who quickly shipped him out on loan to Wolfsburg, where he played 48 games. During his second year in Germany he was linked with a move to the UK, and Rangers paid around the £2 million mark to take him to Ibrox in 1999.
During his time in the SPL, Reyna changed from a more creative, attacking midfielder to a defensive, holding player. He scored 10 goals in just under 70 games for the Glasgow club, and having become a fan favourite and proved himself in the Scottish leagues, Sunderland took a punt on him, paying a fee of almost £3 million.
Claudio’s time at Sunderland was hampered by a cruciate ligament injury which kept him out for a large chunk of his time there, when he managed just 28 appearances. After a couple of years with the club, they decided to cut their losses and flog the American to Man City, who paid roughly half of his previous transfer fee to bring him to the club.
Although Reyna did continue to be hampered by injury, he managed 87 appearances for the Blue team in Manchester, and became a real fan favourite in his time there. In 2007 though, he and Stuart Pearce agreed to terminate his contract so that Reyna could return to the USA. He finished his career with 29 appearances for the New York Red Bulls.
Reyna is a legend of the game in the USA, and went to an incredible Four world cups as a player, making appearances in three of them. He made a total of 111 appearances for his country. Nowadays, Reyna is the USSF US Youth Soccer Technical Director.
Claudio Reyna, The North Stand Salutes You!