U.S. Soccer is investigating USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter and other members of the federation’s staff
Content warning: This section contains mention of domestic violence.
The GIST: As detailed on yesterday’s episode of The GIST of It, U.S. Soccer is investigating USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter and other members of the federation’s staff for allegations of “inappropriate behavior,” including a 1991 domestic violence incident involving Berhalter and his now wife, Rosalind.
- Accusations like these should always be taken seriously, but unfortunately, they’re only half of the story.
The background: After the USMNT was eliminated from the World Cup in early December, Berhalter revealed that an unnamed player was nearly sent home from Qatar for failing to meet on- and off-field expectations.
- Berhalter was clearly referring to midfielder Gio Reyna who, despite expectations for a breakout tourney, made just two appearances off the bench. Reyna later confirmed it was him via Instagram.
The turning point: After the World Cup, Reyna’s mother, former USWNT player Danielle Reyna, called U.S. Soccer’s sporting director and said it was “especially unfair” that Gio was being criticized “when Gregg had asked for and received forgiveness for doing something so much worse at the same age.”
- Danielle was referencing a 1991 incident that has since been confirmed by Berhalter. He released a statement saying that when he was 18, he got in an argument with his then-girlfriend Rosalind and “kicked her in the legs.” They broke up and reconciled after Berhalter sought counseling, and his behavior has “never been repeated.”
- Another layer to this complicated story? The Reyna and Berhalter families have been friends for decades. The men played youth and high school soccer together, and the women were teammates and roommates at UNC, where Berhalter also played in college.
- Yesterday, Berhalter said that his “heart aches for [his] wife because it was her story to tell if she chose to or not.” Truth.
What’s next: Danielle’s conversation rightfully set off an investigation into Berhalter, which is still ongoing after his contract expired on December 31st and has not been renewed. Needless to say, there’ll be more to come, but it’s devastating to see this private feud falling out in a very public way.