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Gregg Berhalter

(Wang Lili / Xinhua via Getty Images)

Gregg Berhalter Benching Gio Reyna Brings Ugly Truth to Light

Gregg Berhalter
(Wang Lili / Xinhua via Getty Images)

Gregg Berhalter Benching Gio Reyna Brings Ugly Truth to Light

2023 has already started off with quite the bang and the USMNT is front and center of all the controversy. Saying the federation is in shambles right now would be an understatement. Let’s dive deeper into all the drama surrounding Gregg Berhalter, the USMNT’s coach at the World Cup this year, and his superstar young midfielder, Gio Reyna.

All this started when Berhalter told Reyna, who is arguably the most talented player on the roster, he would have a “limited role” in the upcoming World Cup. As a regular player for Borussia Dortmund, Reyna was expected to be a focal point of the USMNT attack. Now, this of course led to Reyna losing confidence and motivation, which sparked greater problems and Berhalter even considered sending the 20-year-old home in the middle of the World Cup.

After hearing of their son’s limited role, Claudio Reyna, a former United States men’s national team captain, and his wife Danielle, a former UNC and United States women’s national team player, sent multiple messages to the U.S. Soccer Federation threatening to reveal sensitive details about Berhalter’s past.

The Federation officially received news of the claims on Dec. 11, when an executive was told through a phone call from the Reynas, about a past domestic violence incident involving Berhalter and his wife, Rosalind. This phone call occurred after Berhalter, speaking at a Q&A in early December, made an internal team issue public news when he mentioned a “player” almost being sent home from Qatar for not meeting expectations on and off the pitch. That player was eventually revealed to be Gio.

The timing of it all is definitely not a coincidence. The Reynas were out for blood.

Now, the craziest part about all this is how the Reynas actually possessed this information.

The thread below details how intertwined the Berhalter and Reyna family actually are but long story short, Claudio and Gregg Berhalter were high school teammates, while Rosalind Berhalter (nee Egan) and Danielle Reyna (nee Santana) were teammates at UNC.

Essentially, the families were so close that the Reynas felt completely betrayed when Gregg Berhalter decided to bench Gio and remove him from the World Cup gameplan. This sparked them to bring up the ugly truth in Berhalter’s past. You can call it malicious, unethical or whatever you want, but at the end of the day, the Reynas wanted revenge and they got it.

On Tuesday, Gregg Berhalter decided to release a lengthy Twitter statement detailing his side of the story. He knew it would come out sooner rather than later, so he figured he might as well get ahead of the news.

“In the fall of 1991, I met my soulmate. I had just turned 18 and was a freshman in college when I met Rosalind,” Berhalter said. “One night, while out drinking at a local bar, Rosalind and I had a heated argument that continued outside. It became physical and I kicked her in the legs.”

According to him, the authorities were never involved, and he even sought counseling after the incident. The couple reconciled after seven months and ended up married with four children now.

Gregg added towards the end of his statement that, “The lessons learned from that night over three decades ago became the foundation for a loving, devoted, and supportive relationship, which we honored and celebrated with our 25th wedding anniversary this past weekend.”

Once the U.S. Federation was informed of the allegations back on Dec. 11, they hired Alston & Bird LLP, a law firm, to conduct an independent investigation which is still ongoing.

In the meantime, the U.S. Federation also announced current USMNT assistant coach Anthony Hudson would lead the team during a January camp in California. Clearly, they wanted time to sort out if Berhalter deserved an extension after his World Cup performance and especially after this news came out.

This is by far one of the messiest scandals the USMNT has ever seen and just one of the most absurd mom/dad soccer moments of all time.

For a short summary, Gregg Berhalter benches one of his most talented players in Gio Reyna at the World Cup in Qatar. The Reynas and Berhalters are family friends, so Reyna’s parents get very mad. They strike back, accusing Gregg of past misconduct with his wife, Rosalind, and now no one knows what’s going to happen.

It’s sad that this the state of U.S soccer. Regardless of how much you disagree with Berhalter’s decisions, blackmailing him with his past actions because your son isn’t getting playing time sounds like something straight out of high school soccer — not the highest level of soccer in our country. Berhalter has clearly made mistakes, as has Gio Reyna, but what Reyna’s parents just did was beyond unbelievable. I’m sure future coaches are now going to be weary of their handling of Gio.

Now, will Gregg Berhalter finally be relieved of his duties for the USMNT? Will Gio Reyna be treated unfairly by the U.S. Federation in the future? Who will the new USMNT coach be, if there is one?

I don’t have the answers, but I do know one thing. You don’t hit a woman. Simple as that.


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