And by Robinson’s own admission, he’s been saying that a lot lately.
“I can just press play from last week, because I thought he was the best player on the field last week and I thought he was the best player again today,” Robinson told reporters post-match.
Reyna, who set up both of Vancouver’s goals against the Quakes, has been on an absolute tear in recent weeks. In his last four MLS starts, the Peruvian attacking midfielder/forward has two goals and six assists – directly contributing towards eight of Vancouver’s 11 goals during that span.
It’s a remarkable level of production.
And, not surprisingly, it has coincided with one of Vancouver’s best stretches of the season. The ‘Caps are unbeaten in six MLS matches and have scored at least two goals in nine straight matches across all competitions.
They are scoring goals for fun – and Reyna has been a big part of it.
In fact, Reyna has been one of the best players in MLS this season when it comes to chance creation. He has created 15 big chances (defined by Opta as a pass that leads to a clear-cut opportunity, usually in a 1v1 scenario or from very close range), which is second in MLS and only one back of league-leader Miguel Almiron. It’s also already the most big chances created by a ‘Caps player in a single MLS season, eclipsing Pedro Morales’ previous record of 10.
Reyna has always been a menace on the dribble, but he’s proving to be much more. Now, he’s finding ways to cut open opposing defences with his passing, “vision, awareness, and decision-making,” according to Robinson, which makes him even more of a threat.
“You can teach players all the fundamentals, all the positional play, all the hard work and things like that, but he’s got a natural understanding of the game,” Robinson said.
This isn’t the first time Reyna has caught fire for the ‘Caps.
It was a similar story one year ago, when Reyna had three goals and three assists during a four-match stretch in the month of September. The ‘Caps went 3W-0L-1D during that run, and it ultimately helped them secure their place in the MLS Cup Playoffs.
Reyna won’t be available for Vancouver’s next outing on September 15 against Seattle as he serves a one-match suspension due to caution accumulation. But the hope is that he picks up where left off following the break and leads Vancouver into the playoffs for a second year running.
“I think he’s playing with an elegance at the moment, a smile, a little bit of attitude,” Robinson said. “And sometimes he bounces a ball and gets booked, I know that. But I don’t want to take that little devil out of him, because if I do I won’t get performances like that. It’s just about curbing it.”