1.29.21 Reynolds DL

FRISCO, Texas – Today, FC Dallas Homegrown defender and Fort Worth native Bryan Reynolds completed his move to Serie A’s Roma and will join the three-time Italian champions for a franchise-record fee. And while it’s undoubtedly the club’s most high-profile outgoing transfer, it’s also another feather in the cap for FCD’s player development pathway.

Bryan Reynolds’ Transfer to Roma Marks Milestone in FC Dallas’ Development Pathway -

“It’s just been like a roller coaster,” Reynolds said in his final FC Dallas interview. “There’s so many things that go into it and I didn’t think that a transfer process was as hard as this was. I mean, there are so many little details that have to be right and I’m just happy that it’s finally a done thing. So, I’m just super excited for my future.”

Reynolds joins a growing cohort of FC Dallas Academy products plying their trade in Europe. The group includes FC Bayern’s Chris Richards, Boavista’s Reggie Cannon and Juventus’ Weston McKennie. With these players beginning to make their mark on the continent’s top leagues, FC Dallas and its Academy have seen their stock rise internationally.

Bryan Reynolds’ Transfer to Roma Marks Milestone in FC Dallas’ Development Pathway -

“We’re always very proud when there’s interest in our players from clubs in the biggest leagues in the world,” said FC Dallas Technical Director André Zanotta, a man who’s clearly no stranger to this process having negotiated the sales of Neymar and Arthur Melo to Barcelona during his time working in Brazil. “Right now, I feel the profile of FC Dallas is becoming greater around the world. The players that develop in our Academy are getting extra attention from clubs in Europe. When those clubs know that the player is coming from FC Dallas, I’m feeling more and more that they look at the player more carefully.”

While the prospect of losing another prodigious young talent to a foreign club might be tough pill to swallow for the fans, it’s important to remember that this is how soccer works for 99% of clubs worldwide.

“It’s a natural process in the soccer transfer market when you have a young player go through your Academy,” Zanotta continued. “Bryan played in the USL League One Final in 2019, then became a starter for FC Dallas and one year later has attracted the attention of a top European club. I feel that is a natural process. Obviously, we need to understand the players’ ambition to play in the top leagues in the world where the very best players play. Italy is one of them.”

It truly is an incredible opportunity for the 19-year-old Reynolds. Roma is currently in third place in Seria A and has qualified for the knockout stages of the Europa League. It’s a big jump for a player with just 15 topflight starts under his belt, but to anyone who’s seen him maraud down FCD’s right flank, it’s clear the talent is there.

“I think Bryan is a great example of the process,” said FCD head coach Luchi Gonzalez, who also worked with Reynolds at the youth level before the player signed as the club’s youngest-ever Homegrown at age 15. “I don’t remember a given moment when I thought ‘Oh yeah, Reynolds is going to make it and go play in Europe’. I just think he’s great example of the process of a young player and I still don’t think he’s reached his potential because it’s all about steps. We’re very proud of him to step it up for his family and for his teammates.”

Bryan Reynolds’ Transfer to Roma Marks Milestone in FC Dallas’ Development Pathway -

“Obviously, he’s (Luchi) been a crucial person, coach in my career so far and in developing me, Reynolds added. “It’s all the little stuff that gradually just helps you. It’s the little things that are most important. I appreciate Luchi so much for what he’s done. You know, he gave me the opportunity to play and if I didn’t play I wouldn’t be leaving so, it’s thanks to him.”

For FC Dallas, the next step in its process is replacing Reynolds’ now vacant right back spot.

“Just like we did when Reggie (Cannon) left, we had Reynolds ready to step up. It’s our job to have the next player ready to step up and take that opportunity,” Zanotta said. “Every time a player is transferred, it’s opportunity for another player to step up. Bryan did that when Reggie left and now it’s time to see who’s the next one. We’re making that pathway strong to allow players to reach their goals. We couldn’t be more proud of Bryan and proud of the pathway and how strong it has been for players to reach their dreams and play at the very top level.”

Bryan Reynolds’ Transfer to Roma Marks Milestone in FC Dallas’ Development Pathway -

Although Reynolds’ stay in FCD’s starting lineup was short-lived, it’s clear the club and its fans left an indelible mark on a young man destined for greater things.

“I would just say thank you for all your support,” he said. “I would never think in a million years that I’d get a nickname like Big Bad Bryan and all that. It’s honestly just an amazing feeling. There are so many people behind you supporting you. I just want to say thank you for everything. I hope that one day I can come back and play. But I’ve got to make that jump. It’s going to help me and my family. It’s life changing. I appreciate all of you so much and I love ya’ll.”