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Amid controversy, USMNT star scores another game-winner off bench

The ongoing off-field controversy surrounding Gio Reyna doesn’t seem to be affecting his performance on the field.

Reyna scored a stoppage-time winner for Borussia Dortmund at Mainz on Wednesday — the second straight game he’s come off the bench to score a winning goal.

This one wasn’t quite as spectacular as the stunning half-volley Reyna scored three days prior against Augsburg, but it was just as vital for his side’s Bundesliga title hopes.

With the game tied 1-1 in stoppage time, Sébastien Haller — making just his second appearance after returning from testicular cancer — won a header off a corner kick that found an unmarked Reyna at the back post to steer home.

The 20-year-old has now scored the winner in each of Dortmund’s first two games after the World Cup break, putting his side into fourth place — five points back of table-topping Bayern Munich.

The goals represent some much-needed positive news for Reyna, who has been all over the headlines recently for all the wrong reasons.

His World Cup was blighted by a poor effort in training that nearly saw him sent home, as he played just 52 total minutes over four games in Qatar for the USMNT.

That would’ve been bad enough on its own, but the aftermath of the World Cup has seen the scandal kick into overdrive. USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter publicly revealed he nearly sent Reyna home, causing Reyna’s parents to leak details of a three-decade-old domestic violence incident involving Berhalter and his future wife to U.S. Soccer.

It’s no wonder that after both of his post-World Cup goals, Reyna has celebrated by putting his fingers in his ears. Amid all the turmoil around him, the USMNT forward has managed to block out all the noise on the field.

This post appeared first on USA TODAY

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