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Reyna, Pulisic Lead U.S. Over Northern Ireland

By Karen Price | March 28, 2021, 4:32 p.m. (ET)

Christian Pulisic battles for possession during the International Friendly against Northern Ireland on March 28, 2021 in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

 

Gio Reyna was perhaps destined to play soccer for the U.S., given that both of his parents were national team members. 

On Sunday, the son of Claudio Reyna and Danielle Egan scored his second goal in his fourth game with the senior national team as the U.S. beat Northern Ireland 2-1 at Windsor Park in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The friendly match was the final tune-up for the U.S. squad before it embarks on a busy summer schedule leading up to the start of the World Cup qualification this fall. 

Thirty minutes into the match, Reyna took a pass from Tim Ream at the top of the penalty area. The 18-year-old striker, who plays professionally for Borussia Dortmund in Germany’s top league, fired a shot that deflected off a defender and veered over the Northern Ireland keeper for a 1-0 lead. 

U.S. captain Christian Pulisic scored on a penalty kick to make it 2-0 in the 59th minute. He became the 13th player to score 15 career goals for the men’s national team.

Niall McGinn scored in the 88th minute for Northern Ireland but his team couldn’t capitalize on a free kick in the last 90 seconds to even the score.

It was the first time in almost six years that the U.S. won a road match against a European nation. The U.S. is now unbeaten in nine matches, the longest such stretch of coach Gregg Berhalter’s tenure.

Moving forward, the U.S. will face Switzerland on May 30 before taking on Honduras in the Concacaf Nations League Final Four the first week of June. The 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup kicks off in July before the World Cup qualifying process begins in September. 

The men’s U-23 team will take the field Sunday evening for a match against Honduras to determine whether Team USA will play in the Olympics for the first time since 2008. 

Karen Price

Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic and Paralympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.