Bryan Reynolds’ First Roma Start Ends In José Mourinho’s Worst-Ever Defensive Display

Mourinho threw the American Reynolds and his teammates under the bus.

Fort Worth native Bryan Reynolds made his first career start for AS Roma on Thursday. It wasn’t a match to remember. 

Reynolds, a right back who moved to Italy from FC Dallas over the summer, was part of the worst defensive performance in José Mourinho’s 1,008-match career in a stunning 6-1 defeat to Bodø/Glimt in the Europa Conference League. Never before had Mourinho, a man often accused of playing boring, defensive football, allowed six goals in a match.

More like the Special Six-One.

You know it’s bad when you lose by five goals to a team without a crest on Google. 

First Bryan Reynolds Roma Start

In terms of all-time worst defeats for Mourinho, this is up there with losing 5-0 to Barcelona as Real Madrid coach in 2010, though at least that was to a legendary squad with Lionel Messi, David Villa, Xavi and Andrés Iniesta. 

Before Thursday, Reynolds had made two appearances for the Giallorossi. Both were one-minute cameos: in Serie A vs. Sassuolo and against Trabzonspor in the qualifying round of the Europa Conference League. With a big match Napoli back in Rome on Sunday, Mourinho opted for a much-changed side, including Reynolds, the 20-year-old with one USMNT cap to his name. Only Rui Patrício and Ibañez retained their spots in the starting lineup from Sunday’s 1-0 defeat to Juventus.

The result was a pathetic defensive performance from Roma, allowing goal after goal to the Norwegian side.

Reynolds played the full 90 minutes, despite Mourinho making three changes at halftime and two more on the hour mark. 

If there was one saving grace from an American perspective, it was that Reynolds couldn’t have done much on five of the six goals, as most of the Bodø/Glimt goals came down Roma’s left flank. 

However, Reynolds was most definitely at fault for the fifth goal, as he was caught napping when Amahl Pellegrino snuck behind him in the 78th minute.

Though you can’t lay all the blame on Reynolds for the defeat, it’s unlikely he gets a chance to play meaningful minutes in the near future.

After the match, Mourinho unsurprisingly threw Reynolds and his other inexperienced teammates under the bus.

“The responsibility is mine,” Mourinho said. “I lined up players who played less, I decided to make these changes and rest many players. We lost to a team that has more quality than us. Bodø has more quality than our starters tonight. It's that simple.”

Not a good sign for Reynolds, though I’d rather be a 20-year-old with a bright future ahead than a 58-year-old coach who is the basis for a Ted Lasso villain and just got his ass handed to him by a team that has won a grand total of one Norwegian Eliteserien titles in its entire 105-year history. 

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