Bryan Reynolds always had a knack for impacting the game in the attacking third.
Coming up through the fertile FC Dallas academy, Reynolds was a winger, and a very good one at that. And he was still in that position when he became the youngest player to ever sign with the club at age of 15 in 2016.
But with attacking-minded full backs becoming increasingly in vogue, and increasingly influential, across the globe, the decision was made to convert him to a right back, a new role and opportunity Reynolds embraced, according to FC Dallas coach Luchi Gonzalez, who also coached the 19-year-old in the academy.
“That started with Oscar [Pareja] and continued with me and the staff at the club. So we’re really proud of him,” Gonzalez said after Reynolds’ influential performance in a 2-1 win over Inter Miami CF Wednesday night. “He had a great mentor in Reggie [Cannon], he’s always been close with him and looking up to him. That’s why I’m not surprised he’s been able to step in and compete right away for its goals.”
Reynolds assumed that starting role last month after Cannon transferred to Portugal’s Boavista FC.
His development in his new position, and his emergence out of Cannon’s shadow, was on full display Wednesday night when he put in a Man of the Match performance. Reynolds created a host of scoring opportunities, drew the PK for Franco Jara's equalizer and provided the assist on Ryan Hollingshead’s winner.
Watch: Reynolds sets up winning goal vs. Inter Miami
GOAL: Ryan Hollingshead, FC Dallas - 82nd minute
“In the first half, I felt like I wasn’t getting forward as much, but also it felt like we were dominating,” Reynolds said after the match. “In the second half, Luchi told me to attack them the way I know how I play and that gave me some confidence. I got an assist and I drew a penalty when I started to attack more. In the future, I need to have more confidence going forward and getting more into the attack.”
And when Reynolds gets in the attack, like he did as a winger coming up through the FC Dallas academy, he has an innate ability to affect the game.
“He has great range in the attack, he gets into great spots, he makes smart decisions with his runs, he’s a great crosser with the ball, probably one of the best we’ve had in a long time,” Matt Hedges said. "The thing I like about him is when he’s crossing the ball, he’s looking to pick out the runners coming into the box and he’s not just blindly crossing it.”