Information provided to the US Soccer Federation regarding a 1991 incident involving US men’s national team coach Gregg Berhalter and his wife, Rosalind, came from his college roommate Danielle Reyna, the winger’s mother American Gio Reyna, she said in a statement to Athleticism.
Several sources familiar with the matter said Athleticism that an ongoing investigation opened in December by American football was triggered by information shared by Reyna’s parents, Claudio and Danielle. Both provided statements to Athleticism Wednesday morning confirming that a conversation Danielle had with US Soccer athletic director Earnie Stewart on Dec. 11 sparked the investigation.
Berhalter released a statement Tuesday detailing the incident, which happened when he was an 18-year-old freshman at the University of North Carolina with Rosalind, who was his girlfriend at the time. In his statement, which was signed by Gregg and Rosalind, the Berhalters wrote that during a “heated argument” that spilled out outside a local bar, “it got physical and (Gregg ) kicked him in the legs”. The incident was not reported to authorities, but Gregg Berhalter sought advice, and Gregg and Rosalind told family and friends about the incident. Gregg and Rosalind, who have been married for 25 years and have four children, said they were releasing the information because an “individual contacted US Soccer” during the last World Cup saying “they had information about me that would bring me down.” in “an effort to leverage something very personal from a long time ago to end my relationship with US Soccer”.
Danielle Reyna was Rosalind Berhalter’s roommate and football teammate at UNC.
“To set the record straight, I called (US Soccer athletic director) Earnie Stewart on December 11, just after news broke that Gregg had made negative statements about my son Gio at a leadership conference,” Danielle Reyna said in a statement. “I have known Earnie for years and consider him a close friend. I wanted to let him know that I was absolutely outraged and devastated that Gio was put in such a terrible position, and that I felt very personally betrayed by the actions of someone my family had considered a friend for decades.
“As part of that conversation, I told Earnie that I thought it was particularly unfair that Gio, who had apologized for acting immature about his playing time, was still dragged into the mud when Gregg asked for and was forgiven for doing something so much worse at the same age. Without going into detail, yesterday’s statements significantly understate the abuse that night in question. Rosalind Berhalter was my roommate , teammate and best friend, and supported her through the trauma that followed. It took me a long time to forgive and accept Gregg afterward, but I worked hard to give him grace, and I have finally made them and their children a big part of my family’s life. I would have wanted and expected him to grant the same grace to Gio. That is why the current situation is so painful and difficult .
Danielle Reyna’s statement continues: “At the time I called Earnie, a lot of people were bashing Gio on social media because of Gregg’s comments, and I didn’t know when or if that would stop. I just wanted Earnie to help me make sure there were no more unwarranted attacks on my son. I thought our conversation would be kept confidential and it hadn’t occurred to me at the time that anything I said could lead to an investigation. I’m not criticizing Earnie here.
“I strongly welcome US Soccer’s recent efforts to address player abuse, and I now understand that they had an obligation to investigate what I shared. But I want to be very clear that that I didn’t ask for Gregg’s dismissal, I didn’t make any threats and know nothing about blackmail attempts, and I’ve never had any discussions about anyone else on Gregg’s staff — I don’t know any of the other coaches. I didn’t communicate with anyone in US Soccer about this until December 11, and no one else in my family made a statement to US Soccer about Gregg’s past. .
“I’m sorry that this information has become public, and I regret having played a part in something that could reopen wounds from the past.”
Gio Reyna’s father, American football legend Claudio Reyna, who captained the USMNT to two World Cups, also released a statement for Athleticism.
“I support my wife, Danielle, and her statement. I, too, was upset by Gregg’s comments about Gio after the United States withdrew from the World Cup, and I also reached out to Earnie Stewart on December 11 to ask him to prevent further comment.
“While in Qatar, I shared my frustrations about my son’s World Cup experience with a number of close friends, including Earnie and Brian McBride. However, at no time did I threaten anyone, and I never would either.
Berhalter and Claudio Reyna played football together in New Jersey. Claudio’s father Miguel coached their club team and the two played high school football together at St. Benedict’s in Newark, NJ. They also played together on the USA team in the 2002 World Cup. According to a website owned by the US National Soccer Team Players Associationthe American Men’s Soccer Players Union, Reyna witnessed the Berhalters’ wedding.
In a statement on Tuesday, US Soccer said it learned of the incident involving Berhalter on December 11 and “immediately hired Alston & Bird LLP to conduct an independent investigation into the matter.” The case is still ongoing. The statement also said that during the investigation, US Soccer “learned of potential inappropriate behavior toward several members of our staff by individuals outside of our organization.” We take such behavior seriously and have expanded our investigation to include these allegations. »
A US Soccer spokesperson declined to comment, citing the ongoing investigation.
Berhalter’s contract with US Soccer ended on December 31, 2022. In the statement, he said he “looked forward to continuing my conversations with US Soccer about the future”.
US Soccer announced on Wednesday that assistant coach Anthony Hudson will lead the United States men’s national team for two friendlies later this month.
The saga adds to the friction between the Reynas and Gregg Berhalter which started at the World Cup.
In Qatar, Gio Reyna was disappointed with his role in the USA team – he was not selected as a starter for the opening game against Wales – and did not train hard in training sessions. training before and after the game between USA and Wales. Reyna had several meetings with the coaching staff due to these issues and eventually apologized to her teammates for her lack of effort. He would go on to play as a substitute against England and against the Netherlands in the knockout stage.
Gregg Berhalter appeared to reference Gio Reyna’s situation without naming the player during the HOW Institute’s Moral Leadership Summit for Society in New York on December 6, comments that were published in a Charter newsletter December 11. Later that day, after the comments went viral, Charter updated its newsletter with an editor’s note stating that Berhalter’s comments “were at a gathering held under Chatham House rule. and were not meant to be public, but were erroneously greenlit for publication by someone representing the event organizers.
Athleticism reported that the player involved in the situation described by Berhalter was Gio Reyna, and Reyna and her agent released multiple statements in the hours and days that followed. First, Reyna’s agent released a statement for Athleticism saying: “Gio obviously didn’t have the experience anyone was hoping for at the World Cup. The situation, relations and interactions between the parties are much more complicated than what has been reported. It is disappointing and disrespectful for some parties to publicly comment on private team matters, especially when some do so without full knowledge of the facts and others do so in a self-serving manner. At this point, our view is that nothing more is gained by those associated with the national team turning against each other, and we do not anticipate any further comment on this.
Reyna pretends posted on his Instagramacknowledging that he “let my emotions get the better of me and affect my training and behavior”.
The message continued, in part: “I am disappointed that there is continued coverage of this case (as well as some highly fictionalized versions of events) and extremely surprised that anyone on the USA men’s team is contributing to it. Coach Berhalter has always said that problems that arise with the team will stay ‘internal’ so that we can focus on unity and the progress of the team. I love my team, I love representing my country and I am now just focused on improving and growing as a football player and as a person. I hope that in the future, everyone involved in American football will only focus on what is in the best interests of the Men’s National Team so that we can have great success at the World Cup in 2026. »
This World Cup will be hosted by the United States, Canada and Mexico.
Gio Reyna has apologized to his USA teammates for his lack of effort, sources say
(Photo: Christopher Lee/Getty Images)
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