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Claudio Reyna (born July 20, 1973 in Livingstonmarker, New Jerseymarker) is a former Americanmarker soccer player. He was the captain of the U.S. national team before retiring from international soccer following the USA's exit from the 2006 FIFA World Cup. He's widely considered one of the greatest players the United States has ever produced. Reyna last played for Red Bull New York of Major League Soccer, where he was team captain. On July 16, 2008, Reyna held a press conference, where he announced his retirement.

Club career

Early career

Reyna's father, a professional soccer player from Argentinamarker, moved to the United States in 1968.[74586] He settled in New Jersey where he married a Portuguese American woman and raised a family. Reyna gained his love for the game from his father. Reyna would go on to become an outstanding youth player, attending Saint Benedict's Preparatory Schoolmarker in New Jersey 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 Virginiamarker 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.

Bayer Leverkusen

On August 8, 1994, Reyna signed with German Bundesliga club Bayer 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.

He was half way through his second year with Wolfsburg when Scottish Premier League club Rangers expressed an interest in Reyna.

Rangers

On April 1, 1999, Rangers F.C. 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 either defensive midfield or right back. He scored 10 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.

Sunderland

From Rangers, he transferred to Premier League side Sunderland, who paid £2.85 million for his services.

In October 2002, he injured the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee, keeping him out of action for the rest of the 2002-2003 season. With Sunderland's relegation that season they could not afford Reyna's high wage demands, and the Black Cats sold him to Manchester City for £1.45 million in the 2003 off-season.

Manchester City

Reyna's time at Manchester City was frequently punctuated by injury, restricting him to 30 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 Stadiummarker, Reyna made 87 appearances, scoring four goals.

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 finalised on January 23, 2007.

New York Red Bulls

On January 24, 2007, Reyna signed with New York Red Bulls, where he rejoined his former University of Virginia and US National Team head coach Bruce Arena. Unfortunately, much like his years in England, 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 16 July 2008.

Career statistics



Honours

Rangers

International career

As a U.S. national player, Reyna got his first cap against Norwayon 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, 2002and 2006 FIFA World Cup.

In 2002, despite sitting out the opening 3-2 upset against Portugal due to injury, he was a key contributor in the next three US 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 second American ever (after Bert Patenaude) 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 Haminu Dramanicrashed into his knee. Dramani 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 career with 112 caps, 8 goals and 12 assists.

Reyna also represented his country at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelonamarker and the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlantamarker.

In Britain, he was occasionally referred to as Captain Americabecause of his status as captain of the U.S. national team.

Personal life

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 Kongmarker and two weeks after the U.S. team’s World Cup qualifier at El Salvador.They have two children: Jack, who was born in 1999, and Giovanni, who was born in 2002 and named after Reyna's good friend and former colleague at Glasgow Rangers Giovanni van Bronckhorst. Reyna and his family live in Bedford, New Yorkmarker.

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.

References

External links



1995-96 Bayer Leverkusen Bundesliga 21 0
1996-97 5 0
1997-98 Wolfsburg 28 4
1998-99 20 2

1998-99 Rangers Scottish Premier League 6 0
1999-00 29 5
2000-01 18 2
2001-02 10 2

2001-02 Sunderland Premier League 17 3
2002-03 11 0
2003-04 Manchester City 23 1
2004-05 17 2
2005-06 22 1
2006-07 15 0

2007 Red Bull New York Major League Soccer 23 0
2008 6 0
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